Located in the Allegheny Mountains, in the Appalachians of West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain Resort is the largest winter resort south of New England. Less than five hours from Washington DC, this popular destination sits on 11,000 acres of wilderness and boasts an average snowfall of 180 inches. The rich history and winter beauty of this location appeals to skiers, snowboarders, and anyone looking for the perfect winter holiday.
History of Snowshoe WV
Snowshoe Mountain was the third major ski resort founded by North Carolina dentist Thomas “Doc” Brigham, who previously founded Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain. The area of the Allegheny Mountains that constitutes Snowshoe today was home to loggers from 1905 until roughly 1960. Today, the ski trails and lifts at Snowshoe are given names which celebrate their logging history. The resort opened in 1974 and steadily grew in popularity, until it was bought by Canadian company Intrawest in 1995. Intrawest greatly expanded the resort through real estate, building village-style options for lodging.
Geography of Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Though Snowshoe is the name of the resort, the mountain it is located on is actually called Cheat. Of the 11,000 acres that make up Snowshoe, roughly 250 consist of skiable terrain, which includes a 1,500 foot vertical drop on two trails – a record in the Southeast. Cheat’s highest point, Thorny Flat, is the resort’s peak elevation at 4,848 feet. Overall, the resort includes three ski areas and 57 separate trails. Snowshoe is unique in that it’s considered an upside-down (‘inverted’) mountain. The village and lodging options are located at the summit instead of the base, meaning it’s easier for visitors to quickly access the slopes and highly efficient lift system.
Things to Do in The Area
Snowshoe is a hugely popular destination for snowboarders as well as skiers, and visitors of all ages can receive snowboarding lessons on the mountain. Snowshoe’s day and evening snowmobile tours, where passengers can ride along with the guide staff and experience the natural wonders of the resort, are also very popular. The 6-story, 8-lane tubing hill at the Coca Cola Tube Park is fun for families. For time away from the snow, the resort is home to a 3,600-acre spa, which offers various massages and facials, as well as a full-service Paul Mitchell Signature Salon. They also have an entertainment and leisure center called the Big Top, which features a climbing wall, wii stations, craft sessions, and live entertainment, including visits with Santa.
Lodging and Dining Options Around The Mountain
Mountain Lodge is one of the best options for affordable condo-hotel rentals in the Snowshoe area. Other locations such as Allegheny Springs and Expedition Station offer competitive amenities like hot tubs, fire pits, and exercise rooms, and vary depending on which area of the resort visitors would like to be closest to. It is possible to rent expansive town homes in neighborhoods like Creekside and Black Bar Crossing. There are also more traditional hotels like Corduroy Inn, the Inn at Snowshoe, and the most recent addition to the resort, Soaring Eagle Lodge. Many of the hotels offer on-site restaurants, however the Snowshoe area boasts at least 25 dining options, with a variety of menu options and prices. Choices range from the Cheat Mountain Pizza Company, to Mexican food at the Sunset Cantina, to locally-brewed beer at the Old Spruce, to Starbucks.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort During the Summer
The ski resort at Snowshoe opens after Thanksgiving, but despite the high elevation of Cheat Mountain, the area has become a year-round destination. There are a wide variety of activities available during the warmer months, including touring the the expanse of the wilderness in a Polaris RZR or Segway. Visitors enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and even a zipline. Split Rock Pools, Snowshoe’s signature swimming hole, complete with slides and a sauna, is available during the summer. Nearby Shavers Lake is home to fly fishing, and scenic lift rides take passengers to the beach where they can kayak and canoe. Golfers can take advantage of the Gary Player Signature Raven Golf Club, and the Snowshoe Bike Park is one of the best in the Eastern United States. In addition, the spa and the Big Top are both open all year long.
There’s something for everyone at Snowshoe, and the resort has become a fixture in the breathtaking landscape of Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The area is located in close proximity to many major cities, and the village’s event calendar fills up in every season. For skiers or simply lovers of nature, it is a unique experience.