Boone: A Southern Boon For Snow Sports -
The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina are the incredibly beautiful setting for the state’s ski areas. Boone is close to half of them, including Sugar Mountain, the state’s largest, which is a 25-minute drive away.
Sugar Mountain Resort is a long-time favorite with families. Sugar has a vertical drop of 1,200 feet off a summit elevation of 5,300 feet. The resort offers 20 slopes and 115 acres of skiable terrain, served by four double chairs, a triple chair, a handle tow, a magic carpet in the beginners area, and a magic carpet in the tubing park. The longest run is 1.5 miles.
Fifteen trails comprising 100 acres are lighted for night skiing 6 to 10 p.m. all season.
Sugar likes to remind skiers and riders that it has the most skiing acreage, the biggest vertical drop, the two longest double chairlifts, and the longest trail of any ski area in North Carolina. The resort also offers snowshoeing and ice skating.
Ski Beech is 35 minutes away, in Beech Mountain. Beech boasts a base elevation of 5,505 feet above sea level, making it the highest ski resort in eastern North America. Beech has 15 slopes including terrain parks, a half-pipe, and a family tubing park. The area has a vertical drop of 830 feet, and its trails are served by a new high-speed quad, a fixed-grip quad, five doubles, and two surface lifts.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is modest, but also closest to Boone, an easy 10-minute cruise down Route 221. Appalachian has 10 slopes, the longest a half-mile long, two terrain parks with 13 rails and eight boxes, a vertical drop of 365 feet, and two quad chairs, a double, and two surface lifts. All terrain is lighted for night skiing.
Hawksnest focuses on snow tubing, with 20 lanes 400- to 1,000-feet long in four separate areas, with 100 percent snowmaking and lighting for night tubing. This small family area is 24 minutes from Boone.