When old man winter waves his hand like a wand, families flock to the snow-capped mountains of Canaan Valley Resort in West Virginia. This retreat offers both cascading slopes for beginners and rugged terrain for the experienced sportsman.
Welcome to Canaan Valley Resort
Where To Sleep: Select Canaan Valley Lodge for standard rooms with lovely wooden furniture. Rates start at $79 a night.
What’s Cool: Canaan Valley Resort is only the fifth place in the U.S. to offer airboarding―a high-adrenaline, easy-to-learn attraction ($37 for two hours). After an hour of training, riders lie belly-flat on an air tube (a sort of mattress) and fly down head first the mountain slope. I left the experience happy, sore, and with my airboarding certification (good until next winter). Renting ski bibs (jumpsuits) is a great bargain for $15 a day. Ski rentals are $28.
When to Visit
When To Visit: Middle to late December through February for the best snowfall; the resort is open through mid-March.
Closest Towns: Davis (home to Blackwater Brewing Company) and Thomas (home to MountainMade Gallery and The Purple Fiddle, which serves up music and hot meals on weekends).
Good To Know: Friendly deer will eat from your hand if you let them―but don’t. There’s a $500 fine for sharing your breakfast with Bambi.
Get a Good Workout: Cross-country skiing isn’t for beginners like me. But it’s great for the well toned. Think of hiking through the woods along marked trails on skis. You’ll get to see a side of the resort not often viewed ($18 a day).
For the Adventurous
Timberline Four Seasons Resort sits close to Canaan Valley Resort and offers more advanced terrain for extreme fun. Both locations feature night skiing too. For more information: www.timberlineresort.com or 1-800-766-9464.
Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center: www.canaanresort.com or 1-800-622-4121.
"For the Adventurous" is from the December 2008 issue of Southern Living.