Who says you have to be in the Rockies to go downhill skiing in Canada? I was quite impressed with my first New Brunswick ski experience! Finally got out to Poley Mountain near Sussex for a day on the slopes. With over 30 trails, there’s plenty to keep skiers and snowboarders busy. Poley Mountain is a fun family-friendly place to be in the wintertime.

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View from the five-story tower lookout.

I’m not an avid downhill skier, and my skills are intermediate at best. Though I enjoy hitting the slopes a few times each year. When we lived in Calgary, I planned a couple of trips to Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise. While New Brunswick ski hills are way smaller, it was still exciting to ski Poley Mountain with my friend, Matt.

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Poley Mountain FAQs

Ski Poley Mountain in Sussex
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Enjoying the day at Poley Mountain!

Q. Where is Poley Mountain?
A. Poley Mountain is about 15 minutes outside of Sussex, New Brunswick. The ski resort is only an hour from Saint John and Moncton and about 1.5 hours from Fredericton.

Q. How many trails does Poley Mountain have?
A. Poley has 30 ski trails of varying difficulty, including four forest glade trails. In fact, the mountain has over 100 acres of ski terrain. Check info on trail conditions before heading out.

Q. How do I purchase Poley Mountain lift tickets?
A. Poley requires visitors to buy lift tickets and gear rentals online. Afterwards, you’ll receive a QR code to show at the lodge. Further, proof of vaccination and government-issued ID is required.

Q. Are equipment rentals available?
A. Yes, full gear rental packages are available, including skis, boots, a helmet, and poles. But don’t forget to bring your goggles. Also, snowboard package rentals are available. Be sure to reserve online beforehand.

Q. I’m a beginner. Are ski or snowboard lessons possible?
A. Yes, Poley offers private lessons for all skill levels. Lessons are $70/hour for individuals. Group lessons are also available. To book, call 506-433-7669 or email snowschool@poleymountain.com.

Q. What are the Poley Mountain hours of operation?
A. Mon to Tues from 10:00am – 4:30pm. Wed to Fri from 10:00am – 9:00pm. Sat from 9:00am – 9:00pm. Sun from 9:00am – 4:30pm. Hours can change due to weather. So call 506-433-7668 for updates.

Q. Does Poley offer night skiing?
A. Yes, night skiing is available on 10 trails. The eastern lift closes before 4:00pm.

Q. Can I bring my gear for a tune-up?
A. Yes, Poley offers a range of tune-up services. No appointment required.

Q. Do I need proof of vaccination to ski?
A. Yes, Poley Mountain requires proof of vaccination and one piece of government-issued ID. Further, visitors must wear a mask (in lift lines and the lodge) and practice physical distancing. Read Poley’s COVID-19 protocol.

Q. Are Poley Mountain accommodations available?
A. No, but you can stay in a hotel or Airbnb in Sussex. Book Amsterdam Inn & Suites for deals to ski Poley Mountain.

Ski Poley Mountain chairlift
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Riding the chairlift to ski Poley Mountain.

Directions to Poley Mountain Resort

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Poley Mountain is an hour from Saint John.

Poley Mountain is about 15 minutes outside of Sussex, New Brunswick. From Saint John, drive east on the Trans Canada (Hwy 1) for about 70 km. Take exit 192 into Sussex. Continue through the town toward Sussex Corner and stay on Waterford Road. Follow the blue downhill ski signs toward the hill. The ski resort will be on your right. Turn right onto Poley Mountain Road to access the parking area. The entire trip from Saint John is about one hour.

Ski Poley Mountain—New Brunswick Ski Hill

Ski Poley Mountain in NB
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On our way up the mountain.

Matt and I arrived at Poley Mountain shortly after the 10:00am opening. We picked up our lift tickets and I went to collect my ski rental gear. We skied mid-week after a decent snowfall, with fresh powder on the hill. I was impressed by the short chairlift lines and ideal snow conditions!

Around noon, the hill became noticeably quieter as many skiers stop for lunch. If you’re planning to buy a meal, I’d suggest waiting until 1:00pm to avoid long lines in the lodge. The burger and poutine from Slope Side Bar & Grill hit the spot—delicious!

This may sound obvious, but this isn’t downhill skiing in the Rockies. But there are benefits to skiing smaller hills like Poley Mountain. For example, chairlifts are fairly quick and lines can be extremely short. At the same time, most runs will only take a few minutes. But that means you’ll be able to experience the whole hill in one day.

Arrive with realistic expectations and you’ll have a blast on these East Coast slopes. We explored nearly every run—minus a glade or two—and called it a day around 5:00pm.

Read more: Skiing Sunshine Village in Banff National Park

Ski Poley Mountain hill
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Ski mid-week to avoid large crowds.
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Poley Mountain has 30 groomed trails.
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Climb five stories for the tower view. Watch your step!
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Not a bad view!

Lift Tickets and Gear Rentals

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There are two main chairlifts to access Poley runs.

Adult lift tickets are $44 plus tax each. If you’re an avid skier, it’s likely worth purchasing a Poley Mountain season pass. Plus, individual and family pass options are available. However, lift tickets must be purchased online in advance.

You don’t have your own gear? Me neither! But Poley Mountain gear rentals are available. The ski rental package costs $33 plus tax for the day. However, you cannot rent ski goggles. At different times, I’ve debated buying alpine skis (and probably should’ve found second-hand gear in Alberta!). At any rate, rentals aren’t a bad option for the occasional skier. Seasonal gear rentals allow you to ski Poley Mountain more often. Remember, rentals must be reserved and purchased online.

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Ski and snowboard gear rentals are available.

Poley Mountain Lodge

Ski Poley Mountain lodge
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Poley Mountain Lodge.

In 2015, Poley Mountain’s ski lodge was rebuilt after the previous building burnt to the ground. While there are no accommodations, the lodge is equipped with a restaurant, cafe, boutique shop, flush toilets, lockers, gear rental, and gear service shop.

If you’re staying for a meal, I’d recommend the burger and fries (or poutine, for an upgrade) from the Slope Side Bar & Grill. You’ll also find delicious craft beers on tap, like the raspberry sour from PEI Brew Company.

Lastly, seasonal and daily locker rental options are available in the lodge. However, the parking area is very close to the building, so I didn’t mind leaving stuff in my vehicle.

Lunch at ski Poley Mountain
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Delicious burger and poutine at the Slope Side Bar & Grill.

What To Bring—Packing List for Skiing

Ski Poley Mountain with friend
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Dress for the weather.

Bringing the right stuff can help you have a great ski trip. On the other hand, forgetting necessary gear or clothing can be miserable. Always double-check that you have everything you need. Before heading out, check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

Packing List for Skiing:

  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Skis
  • Boots
  • Poles
  • Base layer (top) (like this one)
  • Base layer (bottom) (I use this)
  • Mid layer (I use this one)
  • Outer layer (like this)
  • Ski pants
  • Merino ski socks (like these)
  • Gloves (I use these)
  • Face mask
  • Neck warmer (like this)
  • Day pack (I use this)
  • Water bottle (like this)
  • Thermos
  • Wallet (ID and money)
  • GoPro (like this one)
  • Change of clothes

Poley Mountain is about two hours from my house. If you’re driving any distance, I suggest bringing a change of clothes (at least a change of socks) for the ride home.

Poley Mountain Trail Map

Ski Poley Mountain map
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Poley Mountain map.

Things To Do in Sussex

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Sussex Ale Works craft beer.

Skiing Poley Mountain is a great winter activity. If you’re looking for more things to do in Sussex, consider dropping by Sussex Ale Works for a craft brew. They’ve got a delicious hazy IPA. In the wintertime, hiking trails like The Bluffs, Friars Nose Lookout, and Parlee Brook Amphitheatre make great options for outdoor enthusiasts.

Read more: Parlee Brook Amphitheatre Trail Near Sussex, New Brunswick

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Parlee Brook Amphitheatre.

Have you skied at Poley Mountain in New Brunswick? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.

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