As fall wanes, it’s time to start looking ahead to winter. For West Virginia State Parks that means outdoor cold-weather fun! While many of our parks offer winter recreation, Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls state parks have been working since last spring to make sure this winter is better than the last.
- Double the Fun at Canaan Valley Resort State Park
Resort officials have added new equipment to their snow guns, doubling the park’s snow-making capability for its ski slopes. The rental shop is increasing its inventory and will provide Elan downhill skis, snowboards and snow boots; Salomon downhill ski boots; Elan cross-country skis, boots and poles; Evo snowshoes and Jackson Softec ice skates.
The ski resort has a summit elevation of 4,280 feet above sea level, 91 skiable acres, four lifts – one quad, two triples and a magic carpet – a terrain park and ski school. The Critters Crawl beginner area has 47 trails and slopes and ski school for private and group lessons. This area is a dedicated beginner instruction area with its own magic carpet lift.
With a vertical drop of 850 feet and more than 180 inches of average annual snowfall, winter enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy snowboarding, skiing, XC skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating. The new snow tubing park was especially popular in its first year last winter, offering multiple lanes (each 1,200 feet in length – the longest in the Mid-Atlantic) and a magic carpet to whisk you back to the top!
The slopes open mid-December, so now is the time to make reservations at the 160-room Canaan Lodge.
- Super Sledding and More at Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls is home to the longest sled run on the East Coast. Each year, visitors race down more than a quarter-mile of fresh mountain snow and are then carried back to the mountaintop by the park’s Wonder Carpet conveyor system. Cross-country skiers of all levels can also enjoy more than 10 miles of ski-compatible trails.
Blackwater Lodge has 54 rooms, a full-service restaurant, indoor pool and conference center with seating for 200. The park also has 26 cabins available with wood fireplaces (wood is provided).
The majority of West Virginia’s state parks stay open during winter months. Lodges, cabins and restaurants are available for end-of-year vacations or that begin-the-New-Year recharge. Trails are open for a nature experience that can only be seen when the weather is cold and the leaves are gone. Make your reservation today.