5 ways to explore WV’s winter backcountry
Of course the Mountain State is the place to be for winter slopes— but you can trek those wild winter valleys, too!
Vast landscapes, rolling hillsides, dense forests— explore the wildest side of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia winter:
#1 Cross-Country Skiing
Strap on some cross-country skis and glide through the glades, no ski lifts required, and it’s quite a workout!
Alpine Lake Resort has more than 15 miles of trails, including some around the stunning Alpine Lake. White Grass is one of the highest-rated cross-country destinations on the East Coast.
# 2 RZR/Snowmobiling
Snowmobile tours are an exciting way to zip through wilderness you might not otherwise get to explore. Snowshoe Mountain has 2 different types of snowmobile tours in the basin and backcountry, if you want to go deeper into the forests surrounding the mountain— and you can even swoop out to their backcountry hut for a gourmet meal.
Take in the simple joys of the season with a snowshoe trek through the scenic winter scenery. Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County has a full-service snowshoeing center with lessons and equipment rentals. The maintained trails cover more than 10 miles, with highlights like the falls— which can freeze completely in the winter— and Blackwater Canyon. With a leisurely snowshoe pace, it’s easy to get caught up in the natural beauty.
Get extra wild with off-road exploring in the Mountain State. Down in the southern part of the state, roar through the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, one of the largest off-roading trails systems in the country. You can ride your ATV, UTV, dirtbike and more, but for a 4×4 thrill ride, try Bearwallow. Ratings range from green to double-black diamond, so it’s a challenging way to kick up some snow!
#5 Winter Hiking
All you really need to enjoy the winter in West Virginia is to set out!
Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park has 8 year-round trails, with different levels and grades (and you can even use some for cross-country skiing.) Strap on the hiking boots and take your pick from Cranberry Bogs or Musket Trail, which ends at the lookout tower. Any trail you take is an adventure in history and natural beauty.
This post was last updated on March 2, 2022