If any place in Appalachia can still make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s West Virginia’s Canaan Valley. Development is limited. Light pollution is minimal. Backcountry is everywhere.
The unimposing Whitegrass Ski Touring Center (whitegrass.com) is the home for cross-country skiing in the rugged region of the Mountain State. With over 150 inches of annual snowfall, Whitegrass has 45 groomed trails that cover over 50 kilometers. The cross-country exploration is endless, extending into Canaan Valley State Park, the secluded Dolly Sods Wilderness, and the vast expanse of the Monongahela National Forest.
If resort-style skiing is more your speed, Canaan can accommodate. Don’t expect the prototypical Disney-fied village resorts of the West. The state park (canaanresort.com) features nearly 100 acres of downhill action with 39 trails and three lifts—as well as 30 kilometers of groomed snowshoe and cross-country trails. Down the road at Timberline (timberlineresort.com), you can tackle five steep double-black diamonds and some of the only true glade skiing in the South.
For more resort information, check out Canaan Valley Resorts at http://basecamp.blueridgeoutdoors.com/?p=2545
Whitegrass owner Chip Chase serves up delicious locally-grown food and homemade beer in his café. You can also head into Davis and check out the new Hellbender Burritos (hellbenderburritos.com). Try the namesake, which features shrimp in spicy garlic buffalo sauce and bleu cheese.