Making Tracks at Alpine Lake

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about cross-country skiing between Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks in western Maryland. It’s a good, minimally crowded destination, but unless volunteers have found the time to do so, more than likely the route won’t be groomed, meaning you may have to break trail—not one of the most pleasurable and easy things to do on cross-country skis.

That’s why this week I am telling you about Alpine Lake Resort outside of Terra Alta in West Virginia. The 2,300-acre resort is in a lovely mountain setting with land immediately around the lake having been preserved. Although it has a small motel, cabin and vacation rentals, an indoor pool,  boating on the 150-acre lake, tennis, a fitness center; and an 18-hole golf course, the place is primarily a residential community. This, and the fact that Terra Alta is located hours away from any large population centers, almost guarantees that you will be sharing the trails with few other people.

The last time I spoke with the general manager, he said that at least half to two-thirds of the 18 miles of trails will be in groomed condition on any given day. Without the effort of breaking trail, you can glide beside the lake, rise into evergreen forests, or zip down steep hillsides.

Unfortunately, the resort does not rent equipment, so you’ll have to bring your own. However, once you’re there, you can cross-country ski all day for only $10 a person ($15 on the weekend). There are also some great lodging deals, such as two days worth of skiing and a night’s lodging for two for just $60. Find out more at; 800- 752-7179.

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