Spot Check: Big Boulder Park

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Big  Boulder Park has been gaining some serious notoriety as of late within the east coast snowboard scene.   Named a Top 5 Terrain Park in the East last season by Transworld Snowboarding magazine, co-sponsor of the Red Bull Snowscrapers in NYC earlier this season and with an increasingly strong media presence in both print and video, Big Boulder has been making a big splash for such a small Pocono ski hill.  With 15 trails and only about 400 feet of vertical, maybe Big Boulder’s motto should be “Doing More with Less”?

dscn0407Big Boulder Park is the all-terrain freestyle half of Jack Frost Big Boulder resort.  Big Boulder consists of 6 different terrain park runs.  Working from skier’s right to left the parks break down as follows:

Snowdrift – natural wood and snow features

Boulder Park – large jump line

The Plaza – showtime jib and special events plaza

rscn0420Love Park/ Central Park – medium jump and jib park

Progression Pipe – Superpipe

Freedom Park – mixed jibs, rails and boxes

Big Boulder Parks are made for hot lapping and maybe that’s why the kids here are so insane?  Even with a lack of  high speed quads, laps at Big Boulder clock in under 10 minutes a run, and in a 3 hour riding day I was able to work my way through every trail at the resort multiple times.  This place is a training ground, plain and simple.

rscn0421The Parks’ Crew at Big Boulder does a great job at offering creative features.  Even with less than ideal snow conditions and high traffic volumes, I found all the features to be well maintained and in good riding shape throughout the day.  Once I got over the surprisingly small size of Big Boulder, my only other knock would be the large amount of beginners and young families on the hill.  While Boulder bills itself as an “all mountain terrain park”, it still offers rentals, lessons, a bunny hill and several freeriding trails without terrain.  The Freedom park and the bunny hill actually share the same area of the hill and a chair lift.  This creates for a lot of moving obstacles within the parks especially on run ins and landings… just another element that helps the locals hone their shred skills.

I would say that Big Boulder should be on any park rider’s radar who is planning a visit to the Poconos or that is looking for a destination change from their regular routine.  Freeriders will want to head on down the road to check out sister mountain Jack Frost longer non-freestyle terrain options.  One final note:  Monday through Friday Big Boulder doesn’t open until 3PM.  Mid-week daytime riding is only offered at Jack Frost and although they are technically considered one resort, Jack Frost and Big Boulder are separated by about 15-20 minutes by car, so plan accordingly.

Visit BigBoulderPark.com for more pics, videos, daily conditions and current park features

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~ by hrocker on March 1, 2009.

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