Virginia Ski Resorts – A Wonderful Skiing Experience!
Virginia ski resorts don’t normally jump into your mind when first considering a family ski vacation. Normally, one might think of the towering peaks found in Colorado, Utah, or New Mexico and begin to set their sights on some of the popular ski resorts found there. However, for families on the East Coast or Eastern area of the Country, the time and price involved to go to those places might be a bit too much, particularly if you allow a little more time for you to acclimate yourself to the higher elevation.
But Really….Why Should You Opt For Virginia Ski Resorts?
Although the mountains are not quite as tall, the good news is that you have many fine ski resorts within the Eastern United States, offering fun for your family, and Virginia has a lot of them. The reality is, the Mid-Atlantic area has plenty of ski resorts, many of which are four season resorts that include fun activities all year-long and some of the best organized tours in the world.
Prospect of Nice Ski Vacations:
Virginia holds a place in the southern region of the USA. The state is recognized in the nickname of the ‘Old Dominion’. It is interesting that this state is the birthplace of 8 of the U.S. presidents which has helped it earning the name ‘Mother of Presidents’. It holds a diverse climactic condition which has nicely matched with the variations of its flora and fauna.This geographical and ecological condition has been shaped by the existence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay.
Notable Ski Resorts:
Though the mountains of Virginia are not as tall as other famous skiing spots, it has many beautiful and well-organized ski resorts to compensate that shortage. Most of the resorts are opened for all the four seasons. So, no matter which part of the year do people intend to visit this place, they will have the option of skiing open before them.
Wintergreen Ski Resort – Wintergreen, Virginia
This is one of the notable ski resorts of Virginia. Being situated in the background of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is the most varied and one of the largest ski resorts of the state.
Also, Wintergreen is probably one of the most varied Virginia ski resorts; its situated within 11,000 acres of pristine forest within the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located within Central Virginia only 1 hour 30 minutes from Richmond, Va. and approximately three hours from Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. Rising to an elevation of 3,515 feet, Wintergreen offers 26 slopes and trails, of which 14 are lighted for night skiing. The longest run is 1.4 miles, which has a vertical drop of 1,003 feet. The ski terrain mix includes approximately 23% beginner slopes, 35% intermediate, and 42% advanced/expert runs. On top of the ski runs, the resort includes 2 terrain parks and 2 tubing parks, so whether its skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing which you enjoy most, there is a little something for all.
Massanutten Ski Resort – Massanutten, Virginia
This ski resort can be found about 10 miles east of Harrisonburg, VA, within the northwestern region of Virginia, on the tip of Massanutten Mountain with an elevation of 2,880 feet. Serving guests from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and the Washington D.C. area, Massanutten offers 8 ski lifts and 14 trails, and all of these are lighted for night skiing. The ski terrain mix is approximately 30% beginner runs, 35% intermediate, and 35% advanced runs, having a vertical drop of 1,110 feet. The resort includes 2 terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders and they also host Virginia’s first snow tubing park, which opened in 1998 and contains a 900 foot long tubing hill. In addition, there’s an ice skating facility at Massanutten, which accommodates close to 132 skaters at one time.
Overall, with eight ski lifts and fourteen trails, the Massanutten Ski Resort is a great attraction of Virginia. All of its trails are arranged for night skiing which is a great tourist attraction. It has the state’s first snow tubing park which is another tourist interest.
The Homestead Ski Area – Hot Springs, Virginia
Virginia’s first skiing resort, The Homestead has operated since 1959 and is particularly famous for its wide slopes along with a great learning area. Its located off of Interstate 81 and Route 64, and merely several miles from the West Virginia border in the Allegheny Mountains. For skiers and snowboarders, the summit is 3200 feet having a vertical drop of 700 feet. The resort offers 9 trails or runs and the terrain mix is 33% beginner runs, 33% intermediate, and 34% advanced runs, with night skiing on Saturday nights. The resort has a terrain park to offer additional challenge and excitement to both skiers and snowboarders. Off the slopes there’s still ample winter fun with ice skating, snow tubing and snowmobile tours. After the fun day of activities, relax by the fire in the Mountain Lodge to warm-up and share some of the highlights of your day with loved ones.
In conclusion, being the state’s first ski resort, The Homestead Ski Area draws a large number of tourists. It is a must visit to the adventurous skiers.
Bryce Ski Resort – Basye, Virginia
This ski resort is very nice for first time skiers or snowboarders and wins high marks for being one of the family friendly Virginia ski resorts. It is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, tucked on a low-lying ridge between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains towards the West Virginia border. Bryce will be the closest Virginia ski resort to Washington D.C. and it is just A couple of hours away. The summit is 1750 feet having a vertical drop of 500 feet. You’ll find 8 ski runs or trails and the longest run is 3500 feet. If you are a parent or loved one who wants to watch your kids ski, then the mountain layout is great. All slopes funnel down to one central area at the base, so it’s simple to spot your children while enjoying a mug of coffee. The terrain mix is roughly 34% beginner runs, 33% intermediate and 33% advanced runs. The bottom slopes do a good job of accommodating beginners, nonetheless the upper slopes still offer challenging terrain for intermediate or advanced skiers and snowboarders. Tubing is extremely popular at this resort and their Ridge Runner’s Tubing Park offers 800 foot long snow tubing lanes to deliver fun for the whole family.
Offers Quick and less Expensive Ski Vacation:
Apart from these above-mentioned resorts, Virginia is dotted with many other ski resorts. The environments of these resorts give the visitors the cozy feeling they can only dream off in a tour. Most of the resorts are designed for both the beginners and the advanced skiers. This gives a nice chance to people to spend their vacation with their kids and family. The mixture of challenging and simple terrains in these resorts is suitable for everyone – adult or kid, novice or expert. After a day full with fun and exciting skiing happenings, the experience of warming-up while relaxing by the fire in the Mountain Lodge make the tourists feel like heaven. For a quick and less expensive ski vacation, there is no other better option than Virginia.
What Else Is In Virginia?
Seems if you close your eyes you can almost hear John Denver singing you home along the country roads. Granted, interstate travel does make it easier to see West Virginia with more expedience, but if you have the time to spare and a yen for adventure (not to mention a sturdy car and stomach), taking the opportunity to swerve the looping roads of this mountainous state offers a beautiful look at countryside and hills.
For the outdoor traveler, West Virginia is paradise. As already described above, wintertime brings crisp skiing weather and well-padded slopes, while summertime is just warm enough to engage in some thrilling whitewater rafting. Horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, camping…the list is endless for the extreme (and not so extreme) sports enthusiast. Next time you are in West Virginia, here are five personal favorites that are worth a first and second visit, definitely more.
1) ACE Adventure Center – Acres of unspoiled mountain and lakes for just about any outdoor activity. ACE Whitewater Rafting is located in the New River Gorge National River in Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia. The ACE Adventure Center is an adventure vacation destination featuring some of the finest whitewater rafting in the U.S, on the New River and world class rafting on the Gauley River …plus the area’s best lodging and camping. ACE offers some of the finest whitewater rafting trips as well as guided Rock Climbing, Caving, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Kayak Clinics that are equally as rewarding. Enjoy hiking in our natural beauty or the sunsets from your family’s mountaintop tent in the secluded camping area after your adventures. The center offers lots of activities suitable for kids as young as 5 on the upper New River. Great place for families and groups.
2) The Greenbrier – The Greenbrier is an award-winning resort located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. As a National Historic landmark, The Greenbrier’s classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service and outstanding amenities have hosted distinguished guests from around the world since 1778. Today, The Greenbrier invites a new generation to come out and play. Enjoy relaxing pastimes, start treasured traditions, or set out on an amazing adventure together. You’ll find endless vacation possibilities at The Greenbrier.
3) Little Beaver State Park –
Little Beaver State Park is a 562-acre day-use park that features many outdoor recreational opportunities. At the center of the park is an 18-acre lake open for fishing year-round. The lake has many types of game fish including bass, crappie, channel cat, bluegill and trout. Paddle boats and row boats, canoes, and kayak rentals are available seasonally.
The park also offers five reservable picnic shelters, playgrounds, geocaching, and an activities building. All trails are open for both hiking and biking, but bikers should use caution while riding in high-use areas.
Little Beaver Campground opened July 1, 2011. Thirty of the 46-site total sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The thirty sites and access road are gravel based and these sites have water and electric hookup. Plans include paving of roads and sites.
4) New River Gorge National River and Bridge – The bridge is one of the highest in the world, overlooking the majestic white river. Each year brings the wildly popular Bridge Day, where visitors actually bungee into the depths!
5) Tamarack – Once you’re worn out from hiking and riding and such, unwind with a trip to the Tamarack center in Beckley. Here you’ll find the best of West Virginia craftsmanship, folk art, and wine and treats. The Greenbrier operates the cafe, and when scheduled you can enjoy live concerts celebrating the state’s Appalachian heritage.
For a wild, wonderful vacation, West Virginia in the Eastern US is the place to be. Watch the curves!
Overall, whether it’s a quick weekend trip to the mountains to ski or snowboard, or an extended ski vacation, your family is certain to enjoy yourself. There is nothing like enjoying good quality family time amongst beautiful mountain scenery, where you can either discover how to ski or snowboard the first time or continue to challenge yourself and hone your skill. After having a day on the slopes there is nothing like enjoying a good meal and relaxing with family around a roaring fire to share stories about the day and mention both the good runs and the wipe-outs.
Hopefully this information about several of the ski resorts in Virginia is useful and gives you a better appreciation for the area. Especially for those of you who are in the Eastern United States, definitely consider Virginia when planning your upcoming ski vacation. Most important, make sure to plan family getaways like these each year. Our children grow up so quickly, and before we know it they are gone and out on their own, so make sure and create these special times and memories that last a lifetime. Have a good time and stay safe!
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