A Guide to Skiing in West Virginia
Approaching roundtop | © Frank Febbraro / Flickr
The high elevation and mountains in West Virginia make the state a perfect place for a skiing getaway. You can go cross-country or downhill skiing at numerous resorts across the state, that are just a day trip from major cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Here are six places in the Mountain State to ski and snowboard.
Canaan Valley Resort
Canaan Valley Resort State Park is the perfect resort for any type of winter activity you can imagine. The downhill slopes include 47 trails and four lifts, with snowmaking and night skiing, plus snow-tubing. You can also rent cross-country skis and snowshoes to explore the trails on the western side of the park. The resort also has a small outdoor ice skating rink open during the winter months. You can stay at the newly-renovated lodge or in cabins on the western side of the park, or in cabins and hotels in Canaan Valley.
Timberline Four Seasons Resort
Timberline Four Seasons Resort is located in Canaan Valley, right next to the state park and national wildlife refuge. The slopes are a good balance of beginning and expert trails, with the long Salamander trail a favorite for families and the glade skiing on natural snow for the daredevils. The resort has three lifts and over 35 trails, with snowmaking and night skiing. Timberline is an extensive resort, with condos, cabins, and houses for rent, although you don’t have to be enjoying the slopes to rent a house and enjoy the valley views.
Also located in Canaan Valley, White Grass is your best bet for cross-country skiing. Owned by the very friendly Chip, the Nordic ski center has rentals and lessons, for cross-country, telemark, and snowshoeing. The center has over 37 miles (60km) of trails, and borders the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area of the Monongahela National Forest if you want more rugged, ungroomed trails. The little lodge is a great place for lunch, with warm soup and fresh beers on tap.
Blackwater Falls State Park
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe offers skiing for all levels, and is a go-to for advanced skiers looking for more rugged terrain. The Western Territory offers double black diamonds plus back-country trails, but if you’re not that advanced or just want a slower-paced day on the slopes, there are plenty of long, green trails to choose from and lots of intermediate blue trails. After you’re done on the slopes, check out all the other amenities the resort has to offer, from the heated pools, to the spa at the hotel, and a kids’ indoor adventure center. The resort also offers a variety of places to stay, from the hotel to apartments to large, multi-family cabins.
Located off Interstate 77 south of Beckley, West Virginia, Winterplace is a great family ski resort in the southern part of the state. The ski season always depends on snow, but the resort usually opens in December and closes in March. All of the runs have snowmakers, so even if the natural snow is lower than normal, the trails will be open as long as the temperature is cold enough. The slopes include ten lifts and runs at all levels of difficulty, and the resort offers lessons for beginners. For those who don’t want to ski, they can check out the snow tubing park, the largest snow tubing area in the state. The resort has cabins to rent while you’re skiing, or you can find hotels in nearby Beckley.