Big Boulder Park was the first of the Pocono’s unique collection of terrain parks to open for the season. Located on Big Boulder Mountain and rising above Lake Harmony, the mountain holds seven full-featured parks where riders of all levels can ski or snowboard the night away. So, what’s here and what does it cost to get on board? – Jay Lloyd
While Big Boulder has ample skiing terrain for beginning sliders to advancing intermediates, its reputation has been building as a regional Mecca for the snowboarding crowd. It’s a place to learn or tackle a serious challenge, get airborne, or take to the rails and tables.
Bunny Park is the place to get started and find your fun with a collection of rails, tables and tubes. Features can change to provide variety and new interest.
If rollers are your speed, head to Snowdrift Park. By the way, if the terminology sounds strange to skiers and tubers, take a look for yourself. You’ll figure it out.
Central Park is the spot to ride some rails and find a triple bonk and a wall.
If you really want to grab some serious air, head straight to Boulder Park, where it’s all about the jumps.
Ledges, tubes, pipes and barrels make up the action on Love Park. You may not want to leave.
Looking for a little training time on the rails? Meander over to The Plaza. It’s a park to watch the potential competition…and have them watch you.
Freedom Park puts it all together with creatively designed boxes, rails, a jump, and pipe.
Taking the first rides or slides on a terrain park is an eye-opener on Tannenbaum Park. Boxes and jumps are designed to ease you into some basic park moves.
For skiers who just want the wide open spaces or scenic trails, there are eight other runs from black diamond for advancing intermediates to learning terrain.
Eight lifts service the mountain.
Two conveyers carry tubers to the Big Boulder hill for sledding on 15 chutes. There are three-hour sessions on holidays and weekends with all-day sessions midweek, holidays and weekends.
SKI AND SNOWBOARD SCHOOL: There’s heavy emphasis on snowboards and children’s programs.
Adult Group Lessons: $28
Adult Private Lessons: $80 per person
A full range of high performance skis, boards, boots, poles and helmets are available.
Daytime Equipment: $35
Helmets: $12 day and night
Adult Snow Pass: $53 Weekend, $46 Weekdays, $55 Holidays
Youth/Senior: $43 Weekend, $35 Weekdays, $45 Holidays
Night: $33 Weekend, $30 Weekdays, $34 Holidays
Over 70/Under 4: $10 All Times
Burgers, stews, chili and ski area staples are served at the main lodge cafeteria. A pair of bars with slopeside views is the spot for swapping snow yarns after the runs. The T-Bar lounge is the place for weekend entertainment. More than a half-dozen restaurants from a popular steakhouse to lively pubs are nearby.
Families with kids might prefer to rent a condo for the clan at Blue Heron Village, which is operated by Big Boulder. These condos are complete with full kitchens and dining areas, fireplaces and equipment storage rooms. A regular shuttle runs to the lodge.
Split Rock Lodge and the Galleria, both operated by the popular four-season resort, are just minutes from the mountain. Both feature condos and hotel type accommodations.
Notes: Big Boulder lift tickets are interchangeable with nearby sister-area Jack Frost. Frost is a daytime resort while Boulder runs night and day. Many parents enjoy skiing at Jack Frost by day and then taking their teens to Boulder for a night in the parks while they head off to dinner at one of the nearby eateries.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Philadelphia, pick up the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Get off at the Pocono exit and follow the signs to I-80. Take I-80 East to PA Exit 284. Take Route 115 South, then turn right onto Route 903 South and follow the signs to Big Boulder.