Where to take the family skiing March 6-13
January 17, 2004
We are wanting to take our children(ages 5, 6, 8) on a skiing trip for their Spring Break this year which falls March 6th -13th. I realize this is late and wondered if anyone could give me some advice on who will have snow and the best spot for families? We have been looking into Snowshoe, but there are so many different resorts? Which one is the best for families? Which resort:
Allegheny Springs, Highland House, Rimfire Lodge or Camp 4?
OR the whole other area where there seems to be tons of Kiddie Stuff:
Maybe Snowshoe will no longer be good skiing this late in the season... if so... any suggestions? We are in Wilmington, NC and I think Snowshoe is going to be about a 7 1/2 hour drive? This is all very confusing to me as a first timer! My parents used to just fly us all to Vail, Colorado and I have never been skiing in the East. Due to money though... we MUST drive.
Thanks for ANY and ALL help anyone can offer!
Ummm I have 2 say- 7+sprngs come to mind rather than anyone else. Hopefully this season will be kind to the mid-atlantic and heyh I've skied 7springs in even April 1 and it was good spring skiing. So that is my answer.
Joy, Snowshoe's not a bad place to zero in on for a road trip from your location in NC. We're off to a slow start this season in the mid-Atlantic and therefore one never knows for sure, but typically March can be great at Snowshoe (and Seven Springs). Three years ago I went to Snowshoe at just about the same timeframe you are talking about and had a wonderful time. Here;s a link to my account of that trip: http://www.dcski.com/news/2001/03_14_2001/snowshoe.php
Well, I'm partial to Snowshoe. I get there several trips a year (about 14 days). The townhome condos in Powderidge (in the Northern part of the mountain) are nice and usually, even in March, the slope right behind the condos is open. Also, the Treetop condos (close walk to the Ballhooter lift) are nice and fairly quiet. They are more in the south/central part of the mountain and are a close walk to the central village and a closer walk to the Split Rock Pool/Spa. Last year, everything was still open and a lot of fun to be had at the end of March. Having been there in March for the last 3 years, there's been decent spring-time skiing on many, if not all of their trails.
[This message has been edited by warren (edited 01-07-2004).]
Might I suggest the Canaan Valley area. It is probably a little further of a drive for you, but overall, I think its a more family-friendly place. You can experience two different downhill resorts (Timberline/Canaan) and other activities such as top notch cross county skiing (whitegrass) or sledding at Blackwater Falls. The area gets over 26 inches of natural snow each March, and Timberline always boasts some of the deepest bases so you should be assured of good snow that late in the season. The prices should be more reasonable than Snowshoe, especially if you stay in a town like Davis (10 miles from ski resorts). Also, from Davis, Wisp is only 35 miles away (45 minute non-snow drive), so you could experience three wonderful resorts that should have great late-season snow. Davis also has the greatest variety of restaurants in the area and hotels/bed and breakfasts -- see meyerhousebandb.com. I just wish they had some snowmobiling in the valley!
Is Sugar/Beech Mtn not skiable in March ? I 've never been there and just found out there is ski resorts in NC.
Sugar and Beech are usually skiable in March, and close mid to late march. Sugar and Appalachian are more aggresive in staying open, while Beech will probobly close before sugar does.
Sugar can be very nice in March:
However, it's more of a weekend place for Charlotte types than a destination mountain. I'd suggest Snowshoe or Timberline/Canaan Valley for this family. 7 Springs is too far to drive for people coming from NC.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 01-07-2004).]
Not to oversell this but I happen to think Canaan Valley offers a wonderful experience, particularly for families. There are two ski mountains--both quite friendly to beginners and intermediates--as well as White Grass, a fabulous cross country trak. Both Canaan Valley and Blackwater Falls State Park offer snowshoeing rentals and trails. BW has a sled hill that my kids love and Canaan Valley has a snow tube park. Finally, CV SP has an ice skating rink. Both Davis and Thomas have interesting resturants and shop, with really world class native crafts and very sophisticated art. And my favorite place, the Purple Fiddle, truly is a gem, with great music--mainly blue grass and mountain music but those terms don't really capture the esoteric quality of the music--and is very kid friendly. It has all this without a fast food place within 25 miles, which I happen to think is a plus.
APP Mountain and Sugar should both be good that time of year. March is usually one of the snowiest months in the Mountains of NC. Beech usually closes early,despite having over 5500 feet of elevation, go figure I guess it isn't profitable. If you pushed your trip up a few weeks you could ski Beech, Hawksnest, Sugar and App within a 30 minutes drive of each other. If not, stick with Snowshoe. It's about 4 hours from Greensboro, and Wilmington is about 3 hours from G-Boro, so your seven hour estimate non-stop is about right.
Thank you so much for all your replies! They have been soooooo helpful! Joy
For a family with kids your ages, I'm still partial to Snowshoe over CV, but its close. To me, with kids in the age category of yours, convenience is a huge factor. At snowshoe more restaurtants will be within walking distance from your lodging, ski in ski out properties are abundant and there's plenty of other things to do. If you go to snowshoe, all of the condos you listed are fine. We stayed in Rimfire which was great and a short walk to the ski school if that's in your future. I'm also always amazed at Snowshoe's ability to keep their snow in good shape even in the worst of weather conditions. Also, the kid's night out at Silver Creek was a blast, we couldn't get our kids to leave when we came to pick them up.
Having said all of the above, if your interested in a more classic ski vacation, rather than a resort experience, I'd go the CV route.
A lot will depend on weather. If we get a serious thaw around that time, I don't think Timberline or CV will re-coat but Snowshoe almost certainly will. Therefore, I'd head to Snowshoe.
In any event, that's not a popular time to ski (although conditions can be marvelous). Therefore, wait and book last minute. If things look good at T-line/CV, go there but otherwise, head to Snowshoe.
With kids of 4,5 and 8, I would think Snowshoe is a better option than CV. They will LOVE the Split Rock pools, and walking around the "village" with them will be much easier than always driving places in CV. Plus, there are the kids clubs, good tubing, etc...
As stated below, the Wisp or Seven Springs area would be good as well. In the case of Wisp, there is a very good learning area, a good snow tubing area, and quite a few other things to do (movie theaters, bowling, swimming) in addition to the outdoors and State Parks. Plus, as stated below, it's about 1/2 way between the PA resorts and Cannan Valley. So you could also visit Ohiopyle and the Yough, or see Falling Water (the Frank Lloyd Wright house). Dropping south, you could visit Blackwater Falls State Park in WV, which is very nice and has a great Sledding hill when there's enough snow. The main draw of Snowshoe over Wisp or Seven Springs (for skiing) is the vertical of Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge. But your kids won't care at all about that and will probably have had enough of skiing after 2 or at most 3 days. So, if you like a compact resort and a great pool but with relatively limited choices for food (or anything else), Snowshoe is great. Otherwise, either the Wisp or Seven Springs area would probably be more enjoyable for the whole family for an entire week.
[This message has been edited by tommo (edited 01-16-2004).]
This web site is dominated by folks who like WV ski areas. However, I would like to provide an option. A week is a long time to ski at one of the small mid-Atlantic resorts. Thus you may want to have the option to ski other resorts that are close by. Hidden Valley resort is an excellent family oriented resort with great accomodations for families. Nearby is Seven Springs (20 minutes). And Wisp and Blue Knob are about 45 minutes away. Thus you have the option to ski 4 resorts. From my experience, Canaan and Timberline have snow making limitations, thus they have trouble keeping terrain open during the typical mid-Atlantic thaw, while Hidden Valley, Seven Springs and Wisp do not have snow making limitations. You may want to consider this option.
I agree with Snowsmith that PA is also a good option.
One point I forgot to mention: many of the long-term forecasts for this season call for a lot of late season snow. I've experienced mid winter conditions on many a March trip to Timberline/CV (as well as 7 Springs and Snowshoe).
Midweek during this period could be EPIC at any of the resorts mentioned. If you go to the T-Line/CV, however, I'd strongly suggest spending at least one day at White Grass. At WG, you'll really experience the natural beauty of the place. Any Nordic skier will tell you that WG also offers the best cross country, hands down, in the Mid-Atlantic. If you don't believe me, just read some of the reviews in the various Nordic skiing magazines.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 01-16-2004).]