Tucker County offers skiing and great fun off the slopes

Matthew Graham

Every skier and snowboarder in the Mid-Atlantic knows about Canaan and Timberline, West Virginia’s adjacent ski resorts in Tucker County. These two resorts feature an amazing 79 trails — 43 at Canaan and 36 at Timberline.Tucker Canaan ice-skating The slopes at Canaan are spacious and relaxing — perfect for the intermediate skier or rider. Timberline offers options for the more advanced skier with more than a dozen expert rated slopes, as well as a 2-mile-long beginner trail that weaves through the woods.

However, there is so much more to Tucker County, and if you only go for downhill snow sports, you are missing half the fun.  

Cross-country ski opportunities

Timberline (Ludovic Moore)
Timberline (Ludovic Moore)

Enjoy a bit of cardio with cross-country skiing and take in the amazing views of the mountains and meadows of “the Valley.” Situated between the two ski resorts, the White Grass Touring Center features nearly 30 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing trails. The charming Nordic center offers rentals and instruction for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and telemark, or free-heel, skiing.

Teleskiing is the original form of downhill skiing that involves deep knee bends to initiate turns. It combines both aspects of cross-country and downhill skiing and even allows participants to climb steep terrain by adding removable “skins” to the bottom of skis to grip the snow. This gives teleskiers the opportunity to explore more than 10,215 back-country acres in Monongahela National Forest. In addition, Canaan maintains 30 kilometers of cross-country trails and Timberline has 15 kilometers of dedicated snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing trails.

Timberline (Ludovic Moore)
Timberline (Ludovic Moore)

And, there’s more. Blackwater Falls State Park features 10 miles of cross-country trails, a touring center with rentals and lessons, and the most amazing sledding hill on the East Coast. The 200-foot-high, 1,400-foot-long sledding hill is wide and unrestricted and includes a conveyor belt (“magic carpet”) lift — no walking back up the hill.

You’ll also find full snowmaking capacity, sled rentals, a warming hut with snacks and hot chocolate, and, usually, a bonfire. It’s the most fun a family can have together in the winter.

Families will also love ice skating at the Canaan Valley covered ice rink with view of the Allegheny Mountains or Canaan’s 10-lane 1,200-foot-long snow-tubing hill.

For a romantic view of the wintry landscape, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride with Mountain Trail Rides. Nestle under a thick blanket as the sounds of bells ring from the horse’s harness and enjoy the view as the driver points out local landmarks and the sleigh glides over pristine white fields. Horse hooves make rhythmic muffled thumps in the snow as steam rises from the animal’s chest.

Tucker Canaan skier1A variety of hotels, inns, and cabins are available, both on and off the ski resorts. The town of Davis also features several shops, outfitters, and a favorite skiers’ hangout — Sirianni’s Café, renowned for great pizza, pasta, and old-fashioned subs.

Tucker County is less than a three-hour drive from Washington thanks to continued progress on Corridor H (Route 48).

For more information:

Tucker Co. Tourism: visitcanaanvalley.org

Mountain Trail sleigh rides: mountaintrailrides.com

 

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