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Sunday River's Top Ten Summer Experiences
Newry, Maine (Summer 2012)—Voted by Yankee Magazine as “Best Mountain Park” in 2012, Sunday River Resort and the surrounding Bethel area offer numerous adventures for families and individuals alike, whether you prefer a leisurely summer hike across all eight peaks of the resort or an adrenaline-packed ride through the popular mountain bike park. Lodging deals at the resort start at $49 per person for our Bike and Bed Package starting in June or $99 per person all summer long.
The Sunday River Mountain Bike Park is packed with over 25 miles of terrain perfect for honing your downhill skills, on not to mention learning new ones. You can take advantage of a full fleet of technical Kona rental bikes and will appreciate the Chondola’s bike transport system uphill. Beginners will find the recent addition of Easy Tiger absolutely “purrfect,” while those more daring souls will feel just like this after tackling the resort’s highest rated trail, Rockstar.
Deep within one of Sunday River’s forests is a Sunday River Zipline Tour unlike any other. Six lines, ranging from 100 feet to 300 feet in length, take zippers up and over a ravine and through a wooded wonderland. All thrills, no skills, Sunday River’s Zipline Tour is perfect for the beginner or intermediate adventurist. Guides set the pace and scene by helping you into your harness and assist you when loading and unloading at each line. The Tour’s grand finale is a zip down one of the resort’s two parallel Twin Zips, which span 750 feet in length. Of course no tour is complete without a heartfelt round of “Zip ah dee doo dah!” You’ll certainly leave thinking, “My oh my, what a wonderful day!” Don’t forget to check out our Twin Zips in South Ridge for a quick fix. Combine that with a scenic Chondola ride, and you actually save money.
Full moons are spectacular events to witness and even provide the perfect excuse to throw a party. Each summer, Sunday River schedules Full Moon Parties at the Peak Lodge, which combines a scenic Chondola ride with live entertainment and an abundance of food and drink, all under a brightly moonlit sky. You’ll dance, you’ll sing, you may even find yourself howling at the full moon above, but the good news is you won’t be alone. You’ll find yourself in the good company of many in-the-know locals. (July 6, August 3, August 31, and September 28)
On a hot sunny day, there is no better escape than the local swimming spot—Letter S. Located five miles past the picture-perfect Sunday River covered bridge, Letter S provides people (and oftentimes their four-legged friends) some much-needed salvation after extended sun time mountain biking or golfing. Hidden down a dirt road, Letter S is part of the actual Sunday River, which runs through glacial rock formations before widening out to what looks like a twisting letter “S.” Pack a lunch and some towels and don’t forget your sunscreen, Letter S boasts a small rocky beach with highly coveted real estate for tanning, as well as shallow water to refresh the tootsies with deep spots perfect for a full-on plunge.
Voted “Best Public Golf Course in Maine” by Golfweek magazine six years in a row, the Sunday River Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., features an 18-hole championship course that winds through one of Maine’s most picturesque alpine settings. Advanced golfers will love the challenge of a truly award-winning course, while beginners will love the clinics and wide-open fairways.
Bethel is home to some of the most renowned hiking trails. But, you can take your day hike to a whole new technological level with Sunday River’s geocache adventure! Located throughout the resort, geocaching involves handheld GPS devices to locate hidden treasure chests. Choose from a dozen cache locations throughout Sunday River, some close to the South Ridge base area and others accessible by a decent hike or Chondola ride. GPS rentals and information are available out of Sunday River Sports in the South Ridge Base Lodge.
While you’re here, you have a plethora of off-site adventures that will entertain you and your entire family. Explore the Sunday River Valley on a guide four-wheeler tour with Sun Valley Sports or take a Wildlife Tour out of either the Jordan Grand or Grand Summit Resort Hotels for a tour that boasts a 98% success rate for seeing moose! And, don’t forget: the Bethel area is known for its mineralogy and mining. There are plenty of mining tours, including a tour of a working gem mine!
Whether you choose to ride it during summer, or take in the brilliant colors of fall from one of its gondola cabins, Sunday River’s Chondola is a must-do experience for all guests to Sunday River. Yankee Magazine ranked the Bethel area as the #1 New England leaf-peeping location and noted Sunday River’s Chondola as one of the best ways to take in all of the views. Summer and fall, the Chondola whisks guests to the mid-mountain Peak Lodge where views of the Mahoosuc and Presidential Range extend for miles and miles. Combine your Chondolar tour with a ride on the Twin Zips and you save money!
There are foot races, triathlons, even adventure races, and then there are races like Sunday River’s Tough Mountain Challenge. Created last year, this bucket list-worthy obstacle race takes some of Sunday River’s most well known features and pins them against racers in a 5k obstacle course. Scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 21, at Sunday River, racers can expect a snowgun salute kickoff similar to last year’s Hurricane Alley as well as some other race favorites, including the Trench of Terror and the Black Hole. Singles, duos, and teams are invited to race in this all-out “Man vs. Mountain” battle. Kiddos can get involved too with the free Mini Mountain Challenge also taking place that afternoon. When it’s all said and done, there will surely be “the mud and the blood and the beer.”
As you know, Sunday River has been open on or before Halloween for the past four years in a row. Here at the resort, we get pretty eager to hit the slopes, so we welcome the cooler weather with our annual Fall Festival Weekend, October 6 & 7. Whether you’re looking for a fun challenge with the peak-to-peak Mountain Epic race or you want to spend some quality couple time with our Wife Carrying Championship, the weekend is always full of fun with live music all day long, a local crafts fair, a beer tent, and slopeside barbeque.
For more information, please visit www.sundayriver.com.