Summer Resorts 2000-Northeast, Sunday River, Maine


The eight interconnected mountain peaks that make up Sunday River contain some of the oldest glacial rock formations in the country. It's more than a geologist's delight because the resulting rounded forms are perfect for world-class mountain biking and rock climbing.The top of Sunday River is the perfect place to check out Maine's ancient, stunning green forests or catch a view of 6,288-foot Mount Washington, N.H., New England's highest peak. Once you've had your fill of vistas, head downhill. The resort's Mountain Bike Park features more than 60 miles of trails, accessible by the South Ridge Express and Perfect Turn Express lifts. Clinics and guided tours are available (207-824-3000) for the uninitiated.

Western Maine is also known for its rock climbing, some of the best in New England, including nearby Grafton Notch. Sunday River offers a chance for climbers of all talents to get a grip on its 24-foot manmade climbing wall, one of the attractions in the Adventure Center. Located at the White Cap Base Area, the center can keep the family busy all day with two water slides, an inline skate park, a terrain park, a boardwalk arcade and a hiking center. The Adventure Center also introduces visitors to the odd world of Mountainboarding, basically a snowboard on wheels.

The biggest summer festival to hit Sunday River is the annual River Rage, Aug. 5-6. This two-day event features one of New England's most technical mountain bike downhills and a grueling cross-country course. Once you wear yourself out, head to nearby Bethel, which offers the charms of an authentic New England village-and a chance to catch your breath.

DON'T MISS 18 holes on The Bethel Inn and Country Club's championship course, followed by prime rib or lobster (207-824-2175).

BEST DEAL Grand Summer packages include lodging in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel or the Jordon Grand Resort Hotel and Adventure Center activities. Call (800) 543-2754, or visit