Cabin fever usually settles in around early January and there is only one thing that should be on your mind. An escape trip high up in Appalachian snow country and the mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia. Winter is not for everyone, except when visiting this little nook of paradise known for endless adventure, lively small mountain towns, and a true getaway from life.
Tucker County plays a big role as a community with 7,550 residents and one lonesome stoplight. There are as many ski resorts in the county as there are fast food restaurants and stoplights combined. The historical towns of Davis and Thomas bring nightlife and character to a winter experience unmatched anywhere south of New York.
A little-known fact: the mountains of West Virginia are at the same elevations as Vermont’s most notorious peaks. Therefore, Tucker County receives plenty of snow and cold to be a true winter destination.
Simplicity is the name of the game. Travel from any direction is made easy with interstate highways leading up to our front door. Once here, Rt. 32 is the artery connecting Canaan Valley, home to all three ski resorts, to Davis and Thomas. Lodging from quaint inns and forested resorts, to cozy cabins in the woods and exquisite slope side homes are found in abundance along the corridor. Keeping up with the times has also seen an explosion of availability through VRBO and AirBnB options for that perfect winter getaway.
Winter comes with an obvious branding of skiing and snowboarding under the gaze of snowflakes falling from the sky. Tucker County has you covered there. It’s the unexpected twist on winter that is a welcomed break from traditional east coast vacations in December through March. Curling up by a wood burning stove, reading endlessly to gentle snow falling upon pre-heated hot tubs overlooking nothing but the Monongahela National Forest is calling your name.
Here is where stretching your legs means walking into an art gallery or laying down for a massage. There is no need to be crammed into ski boots to enjoy a winters day. Being present in the now is enough.
Childhood would not have been the same without building snowmen, sledding, and the occasional snowball fight. Relive the past and introduce future generations to all winter has to offer with a trip to the Blackwater Falls State Park Sled Run. You are in for an exhilarating surprise. With modern snowmaking and grooming equipment, the fun is guaranteed all winter. One of the East Coast’s longest conveyor belts is used to move sleds and humans uphill effortlessly for endless runs and occasional stops for smores and hot chocolate at the lodge.
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing has quickly become a fan favorite alternative in the fourth snowiest state on the East Coast. So much, in fact, that White Grass Touring Center is considered Tucker County’s third ski resort and recognized in USA Today as one of the top ten cross country ski areas in America. In addition, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks offer cross country and snowshoe rentals along with miles of on-sight trails that are also perfect for fat tire snow biking. Want to escape the crowds and carelessly enjoy the day? This is your ticket to paradise.
What really separates the Tucker County experience from all other West Virginia resort areas are the two lively small towns of Davis and Thomas. Less than two miles apart, each town has a brewery and several art galleries. Locally owned restaurants dot the storefronts with coffeehouses ready to get your day started any way you like it. Each town has its own personality which is a welcomed sight from today’s box stores and cookie cutter plazas. Thomas has a “Park City, Utah” feel, with contemporary artists putting their mark on the 100-year-old brick façades. Davis feels like “Stowe, Vermont” with West Virginia’s top ranked brewery and a plethora of restaurants to choose from.
Now for the icing on the cake. Two ski resorts, Canaan Resort and Timberline Mountain, share the Cabin Mountain ridgeline with over 80 downhill ski trails between the two. It will take more than a weekend to experience all of the terrain. New for 2020 is the purchase of Timberline Mountain and over 10 million dollars in capital improvements. Three brand new chairlifts, snowmaking overhaul, and a re-designed main lodge have made skiing the valley better than it has ever been before.
A trip to Tucker County, West Virginia has always exceeded expectations. Small town vibe with a big mountain experience, all within driving distance of millions looking for the perfect getaway. There is a reason John Denver’s Country Roads song is based on West Virginia; it is the place you belong, even in winter.
Appalachian Snow Country Tucker County, West Virginia