7 best Mountain State snowsports
While fall in West Virginia is nothing short of gorgeous, don’t spend too long mourning its passing because winter is just as fun!
Here are 7 ways to enjoy the chill of winter in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia:
1. Ski down the mountain slopes
Downhill skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in West Virginia. The Mountain State is packed with some of the best ski resorts in the mid-Atlantic. Click your boots into a pair of skis and glide down fluffy white trails.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort is a snowsports mecca, with a summit of 4,848 feet and an average of a whopping 180 inches of snowfall per year! Experience a 1,000-foot vertical drop at Timberline Four Seasons Resort, or night ski at Winterplace. A good place for beginners is Oglebay Resort.
2. Blaze down the mountain on a board
Every resort that has downhill skiing also accommodates snowboarding! Atop Snowshoe Mountain are 5 different terrain parks, with obstacles ranging in size and difficulty. Hit boxes, rails and other obstacles at Canaan Valley Resort.
Snowboarding takes some time to master. It’s best to learn the basics during a group or private lesson before you take to the mountain solo.
3. Bring back childhood memories at a tube park
If you want the thrill of skiing and snowboarding — but with little to no effort — plop down into a tube and fly through the powder. Bring back childhood memories of sledding without even having to walk back up the hill (That was always the worst part, wasn’t it?)
Canaan Valley Resort offers the longest ride in the mid-Atlantic, with 1,200 feet of pure joy. Snowshoe’s tube park is 6 stories and 8 lanes wide so you can race all your buddies. Winterplace boasts the biggest snowtubing area in West Virginia with 16 lanes and 2 super carpets lifts!
4. Take in the scenery on cross-country skis
Some people just don’t find pleasure in barreling down a hill at a high speed. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the blanketed hillsides!
Canaan Valley Resort is tucked into beautiful rolling meadows and surrounded by centuries-old mountaintops. Delve into this winter wonderland on almost 20 miles of marked, ungroomed trails and acres of wide-open meadows. The best part? No trail fees!
There are cross country adventures tucked into several parts of the state. Also check out White Grass Ski Touring Center in Davis, Elk River Touring Center near Snowshoe, Alpine Lake Resort in Terra Alta, Blackwater Falls State Park or Pipestem Resort State Park.
5. Trek the winter wonderland with snowshoes
Traversing through a beautiful snowfall is tempting, but let’s face it— kind of difficult. Heavy snow has a tendency to swallow your feet, no matter how enticing a winter walk seems!
It’s a great thing that snowshoes exist! Frolic through more than 10 miles of groomed trails at Blackwater Falls State Park, where they offer snowshoeing lessons and equipment throughout the winter. The frozen falls and Blackwater Canyon are just a few exciting spots you can wander into along the way.
6. Fly through mountain terrain on a snowmobile
Ever gawked as ski patrol whizzed by and thought, “That looks like fun!” Well, Snowshoe Mountain Resort lets you jump on your very own snowmobile and explore areas of the mountain you might not be able to see on skis or a snowboard.
You can cruise through the basin trails you skied all day, or head to the backcountry for some fresh powder. Because you’ll be exploring very adventurous terrain, adults are not permitted to ride as passengers.
7. Glide your way into winter
As freezing temperatures dominate the air, West Virginia becomes speckled with magical ice skating rinks. Lace up some skates and enjoy this age-old wintertime tradition.
No matter where you are in the state, you’re probably not too far from one of these glistening playgrounds. One of the fanciest way to enjoy an ice rink is at The Greenbrier, where merry skaters glide about on the resort’s huge outdoor rink with lights, music and an outside fire pit.
Which winter sport is your Mountain State favorite?