Terrain parks exist at almost every area in North America, because so many of us are looking for the challenge and excitement they offer. The Mid Atlantic region is a perfect example.
"Parks have revitalized younger people getting into the sport," said Joe Stevens, communications director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.
"They like doing things on the edge and terrain parks give them that," Stevens said.
"The majority of terrain parks are lit so that, for resorts close to metropolitan areas, parks are available at night for younger crowd, especially areas near colleges or active high schools that have ski and snowboard programs.
"All the resorts in West Virginia have understood for the last few years the need for terrain parks to add variety to skiing and snowboarding," he said.
Snowshoe has four parks, including Mountaineer at its Silver Creek area with a dedicated lift, and Spruce Glades, Powder Monkey and Timberjack, all full of rails and features.
Whitegrass, primarily a crosscountry area, has an unusual approach to terrain parks, creating a backcountry terrain park experience from natural features such as ledges, boulders, logs, and trees for adventure skiing and riding.
Stevens said all areas in West Virginia offer terrain parks because they are what skiers and riders are looking for now, but his observation applies equally to all resorts.
Wisp in Maryland, for example, has one of the best terrain parks around. Credit snowmaking, location and commitment to making the most of terrain. Wisp offers boxes and rails ranging from five feet for beginners to 40 feet for the more daring, and terrain gardens or mini-parks, and the Whip Saw Terrain Trail.
Appalachian Ski Mountain in North Carolina has one of the most popular parks in the region, designed to give skiers and riders of all abilities a progressive series of challenges. Appalachian is creating a second terrain park on a new slope this year with new boxes, rails, and unique features.
Mountain Creek in New Jersey is fine tuning its new configuration, where South Peak was dedicated entirely to freestyle terrain last year to separate freestylers from more laid back skiers and riders.
"We went from about 15 percent of terrain dedicated to terrain parks to 45 percent," said Mountain Creek's Frank Deberry. "This year is about building on that. We've built a progression across the mountain up through the levels, from absolute first-timers to never better. We set out to create the absolutely leading terrain park in the East, and we'll put our accomplishments up against anyone."
Seven Springs in Pennsylvania added additional area to the terrain park this year with a huge expansion. The area reports it dusted off the bulldozers and regraded the area between Sunset and Lost Boy for an additional terrain park more than half a mile long. The area will be served by the North Pole or North Face chairlift. The resort also purchased a new snowcat with a winch to work on its Superpipe.
Read Paul Doherty's There's A Terrain Park For Everyone - Adrenaline Junkie Or Not for a library of information on North American terrain parks, including links to relevant stories.