In case you haven’t noticed this winter has brought favorable conditions to the Blue Ridge region’s ski areas. Looking at reports from West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, base depths are high and the number of open slope numbers is plentiful. Rumor has it Beech Mountain’s Oz Run will open soon. Wolf Ridge is open top to bottom. Sugar Mountain has both Tom Terrific and Whoopdeedoo open, and then there’s West Virginia’s Snowshoe, which has received 48” of snow for the season and is operating 48 of 51 slopes. So pack up the family and get some turns in during the upcoming long holiday weekend!
Check our full slope report below (As of 1/13/21)
|Resort||Slopes Open||Base Depth||Lifts Open||Snowfall (Season)|
|Appalachian Ski Mountain||12 of 12||46-80″||5 of 6||15″|
|Beech Mountain||16 of 17||38-60″||4 of 8||45.5″|
|Bryce Resort||7 of 8||30″||3 of 7||12″|
|Canaan Valley||14 of 47||15-30″||4 of 4||43.6″|
|Cataloochee Ski Area||18 of 18||46-66″||5 of 5||25.5″|
|Massanutten Resort||7 of 14||32″||5 of 8||6.5″|
|Ober Gatlinburg||6 of 10||35-50″||3 of 4||15.5″|
|The Omni Homestead||Re-Opening Thursday (1/14)||29″||12″|
|Sapphire Valley||Re-Opening Friday (1/15)|
|Snowshoe||57 of 61||55″||12 of 14||48″|
|Sugar Mountain||18 of 21||41-90″||5 of 9||40.5″|
|Timberline||16 of 23||16-60″||3 of 3||43.6″|
|Wintergreen Resort||13 of 25||32″+||3 of 5||6″|
|Winterplace||23 of 27||28-48″||5 of 10||17″|
|Wisp||16 of 34||15″||7 of 11||43″|
|Wolf Ridge||6 of 15||26-53″||3 of 5||31″|
New Mountain Bike Trails in Tennessee
Thanks to a $6 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Cocke County, Tenn., will see the construction of more than 50 miles of mountain bike trails, many of which are in Cherokee National Forest, in an effort to increase tourism to the rural, natural-resource rich community. Coupled with these new trails in Cherokee are mountain bike trails on the Foothills Parkway right-of-way in Sevier County.
Many communities in the Blue Ridge have taken notice of the pandemic-driven bike boom and hope to help spur economic growth with increases in bike-centric tourism. As we slowly put 2020 in our rear-view mirrors, outdoor recreation will continue to be a key economic-booster for many rural towns in the region.
Dog Owners: Watch Out for Xylitol
Dog owners often give canine companions peanut butter to coax them into taking medication, fill chew toys, or reward them for good behavior. But the common nut butter might be potentially harmful, or even deadly, to our furry friends.
It has been documented in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that a natural sweetener used in sugar-free fums (as well as candies and baked goods) called Xylitol can cause a sever spike in blood sugar, followed by liver failure in dogs. More relevant to pets, many peanut butter products that tout themselves as being sugar free also use this naturally occurring ingredient. How much is too much? As little as three grams of Xylitol can be fatal to a 65-pound canine or the equivalent of 8-10 sticks of gum.
But what about cats? “There is no information on whether severe Xylitol poisoning has occurred in cats” according to Dr. Gwaltney-Brant, an expert in the field of veterinary toxicology.
Next time you go to fill that Kong with peanut butter, make sure it is Xylitol-free.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images