In late October, Snowshoe, West Virginia got a lot of snow. When 28 inches fell in 48 hours, this popular regional ski resort was headlining The Weather Channel. “We’re not located in what people generally think of as Ski Country,” explained Dave Dekama, Snowshoe Marketing Director. “We’re off the beaten path, so owning the snow story for that period of time was good for us.”
Two Mountains In One
Although Snowshoe may not be well-known nationally, this family-oriented resort attracts a loyal clientele from Maryland to Florida. With 1,500 vertical feet, 250 acres of terrain and 100% snowmaking, Snowshoe is a solid intermediate mountain, perfect for adventurous families who are learning to ski or ride and are progressing in their skills. The resort has 15 lifts and 60 trails as well as four terrain parks with a full arsenal of features.
“On a smaller scale, Snowshoe reminds me of Colorado or Germany,” shares Robin Adams, a ski mom of 10 from North Carolina who has lived in both Colorado and Germany. “Although the mountains are smaller than the Rockies or the Alps, you are up high and you can see mountain after mountain. On days when everything is covered in snow and the sky is a deep royal blue, there is nothing prettier.”
Snowshoe is actually a two-mountain resort. A Snowshoe lift ticket provides access to Silver Creek, another ski resort five miles away. Silver Creek has its own ski school, ticket office, lodging and dining and is connected to Snowshoe by a shuttle. “It’s a different experience at Silver Creek, with different facing slopes, the biggest terrain parks and night skiing,” explains Dekama. The resort tubing hill is also found at Silver Creek.
The most difficult skiing at the resort is found on the backside of the mountain, in what is called “The Western Territory.” One express lift serves this area, with one black and one double black run. Unlike most ski areas, where there is a base village or lodge, the village at Snowshoe is on top of the mountain, with the runs and lifts spread out beneath it. Access to The Western Territory is located across the street from the top of the Powder Monkey lift.
It’s All Happening In the Village
When the lifts close, the village revs up. I was surprised to find that Snowshoe is owned by Intrawest, the owner of much larger resorts like Steamboat and Winter Park, Colorado. The Snowshoe Village is built along the same lines as the full-service villages at their larger resorts, with ski-in/ski-out condo properties, retail, specialty shopping, dining and more. For kids, the après action centers around the Split Rock swimming pools and water slide and The Big Top with a climbing wall, an arcade and inflatables. Combined with the tubing hill and night skiing, these are just some of the activities on offer to keep kids busy. And as parents well know, busy kids are happy kids.
Other winter activities at Snowshoe include evening snowmobile tours, a snowcat tour that gives guests a close-up look at the resort’s grooming and snowmaking operations, and free events through Snowshoe U, including ski tuning 101, snowmaking 101, mountain and terrain park tours. Cross-country skiing is also available.
When You Go…
Located in Monongahela National Forest in the Alleghany Mountains, Snowshoe lies in one of the highest elevation counties in the East, with a summit elevation of 4,848 feet. Two hours from the nearest major airport in Charleston, West Virginia, most guests arrive by car, winter and summer.
Adams and her family are among those who drive to Snowshoe. “Because we can drive, we come to Snowshoe multiple times each year. Our youngest children race on the ski team and our grown children can easily meet us there.”
“Snowshoe is a well-kept secret, that doesn’t need to be a secret. It’s easy to get there, but once you’re there, it feels remote. It’s our escape. We love it,” she adds.
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