Where better to ski than the Mountain State? Below are 7 things we bet you didn’t know about West Virginia’s slopes.
Sponsored by Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia. Keep up with WV’s winter adventure at GoToWV.com/winter, and all the latest excitement with our Real Stories blog. Connect with us, or share your own wild stories with #GoToWV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
1. You’ll find prime terrain— WITHOUT the wait.
West Virginia is a relatively undiscovered treasure trove of winter trails and terrain. It’s affordable and easily accessible, with way shorter lines than out west.
In Canaan Valley alone, you’ll find 45+ trails, a terrain park, gladed skiing and even tubing for the kids, set on fresh powder from 180 inches of annual snowfall. And you’re also within a short trek of 2 other top-quality ski areas, too.
2. You can ski along a highway (safely!)
Yeah, it’s a “highway,” but it’s got views like you wouldn’t believe. The cross-country trails at Elk River Touring Center criss-cross the Highland Scenic Highway, and since it isn’t maintained in the winter, you can glide right out into all those picturesque settings that earned the road its national honor.
3. It’s a great place to learn to ski or snowboard.
First-timer? Just need to finesse your style? Winterplace’s over-the-top instructors, impressive collection of certifications and separated beginner areas earned it the title “Best Place to Learn” from Blue Ridge Outdoors.
The kiddos can get in on the fun with basic lessons, too… or they can just spend the day sliding down the 16-lane tubing park.
4. But you can also find epic expert runs.
You can learn the basics, but you can also go big! Snowshoe Mountain has the highest vertical in the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic with 1,500 feet of vertical, plus the steepest run in the region. For a challenge, the Shay’s Revenge tilts down a formidable 53% grade.
If you’re looking for an expert mogul run, Winterplace sets a base of custom-designed bumps on Turkey Chute, then leaves the trail ungroomed for a naturally rolling ride. (Those excellent teachers are always up for an advanced lesson, too!)
5. It’s got some pretty impressive glade skiing.
Liftopia readers voted Snowshoe Mountain as a favorite for glade skiing on the East Coast. (Tip: Look for more snowmaking and newly thinned glades between Cupp and Shays in the Western Territories.)
For cross country, White Grass is the East Coast destination, with carefully designed and naturally “farmed” snow trails. It’s a small, cozy place, so you might even meet the owner on the snow. And he’s always happy to lead you to some of his favorite spots.
6. You can take the scenic route on the longest trail in the Southeast.
Timberline is a telemark skiing mecca. Their popular Salamander Trail sweeps along for a full 2 miles. Not only is it the longest trail in the region, it’s also got the highest average vertical.
Best of all, it’s beginner-friendly, so anyone can enjoy it. But even experts have reason to ride: gaze out over one of the state’s most unique and jaw-dropping wildernesses, the high plateaus of Dolly Sods.
7. It’s “the whole package.”
A West Virginia ski escape doesn’t end when you get off the slopes.
At Oglebay Resort, the dazzling Winter Festival of Lights illuminates the whole place after dark. Gather ‘round the fires to warm up, or melt away the winter chill at the spa. There are plenty of dining options— the cafe, the grill, the bistro, the fine dining room overlooking the mountains— but you could also just cozy up in the lodge or a private cottage with room service.
Ski-in chalets, winter waterparks, lively mountaintop villages— you’ll find it all at West Virginia’s ski resorts. The only question is where to start!
About Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia:
Where better to hit the slopes than the Mountain State? We play in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia all 4 seasons, and share all the best experiences with you. Keep up with WV’s winter adventure at GoToWV.com/winter, and all the latest excitement with our Real Stories blog. Connect with us, or share your own wild stories with #GoToWV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.