West Virginia: Take Me Home Country Roads -

West Virginia is located entirely within the Appalachian Mountains, with four ski resorts situated among peaks where winter comes early and stays long. John Denver sang of the state's country roads, and some of the routes to ski resorts test that theory.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County is the largest winter resort in the Mid-Atlantic region. Two black diamond trails make up an area called The Western Territory, boasting a 1,500 foot vertical drop, 60 percent pitch, and 1.5 miles of length. Two distinct mountains are skiable on one lift ticket.

A view of Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Pocahontas County, West Virginia

The Village of Snowshoe features plenty of choice in accommodations with Rimfire Lodge, Highland House, Allegheny Springs, and the Seneca Lodge. Yew Pine is a half-mile long novice trail. Snowshoe (naturally), cross-country ski, or take a snowmobile out to the fire tower on the eastern ridge.

Downhill skiers of all levels will enjoy the 37 slopes at Canaan Valley Resort. With a vertical drop of 850 feet and the longest run at 6,000 feet, the experience can be as challenging as guests want it to be. Night skiing is available on 11 slopes during prime season Saturdays and Sundays, plus special holiday evenings.

Timberline is an old West Virginia favorite. There are 91 skiable acres, serviced by three lifts, 37 runs, and vertical of around 1,000 feet. All trails are open for snowboarding. There are also 12 kilometers of backcountry cross-country terrain. The summit is at 4,268 feet above sea level. The resort has 94 percent snowmaking, and the longest run in the South, Salamander, at two miles. Terrain is served by one double chair, and two triples.

 A scenic autumn view of Canaan Valley Resort, West Virginia

Timberline and Canaan Valley Resort are both in the Canaan Valley, a region of extraordinary beauty, 15 miles long and three miles wide, said to be the highest mountain valley east of the Rockies, with a base elevation of 3,100 feet. One special feature of this part of the Mountain State is the 15,000-acre Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge that will preserve it forever as open space. The rest of West Virginia is beautiful, as well.

Winterplace is two minutes off I-77, with 28 trails and a terrain park on 90 acres of skiable terrain served by two quad chairs, three triples, and two doubles, and West Virginia's largest snow tubing park served by two new Super Carpets. The area's base is located at 2,997 feet, with the summit at 3,600 feet, and a vertical drop of 603 feet.

The entire area has snowmaking coverage. Night skiing is offered daily on 26 slopes, the terrain park, and snow tubing park. Early season discounts are in effect through Dec. 14 and after March 10.

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