Have you tried these unique West Virginia winter experiences?

Winter in the Mountain Sate is the perfect time to venture out and experience new things! From incredible light displays to cozy sleigh rides, the Mountain State has a new adventure for everyone to experience no matter your age:


Festivals in the winter mean many things including sparkling lights, craft beers, live music and much more. Here are some unique wintertime events we think you’ll love:

  • Oglebay’s Festival of LightsOglebay Resort’s Festival of Lights began in 1985 and has grown into one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows, attracting more than 1 million visitors each year. The Festival of Lights features 300 acres of twinkling lights over a six-mile drive and includes 90 lighted attractions boasting more than 1 million energy-efficient LED lights.
  • Cabin Fever Craft Beer Festival – Enjoy incredible craft beers from around the Mountain State at the Cabin Fever Craft Beer Festival. This festival also hosts local food vendors and merchant vendors with a distinct focus on Appalachian culture.
  • West Virginia Winter Music Festival – The West Virginia Winter Music Festival features over 50 bands over seven venues in historic downtown Lewisburg. The festival also lends a helping hand to musicians in need with a vision to further develop the music industry through education.
  • Groundhog Festival Visit the West Virginia State Wildlife Center on Feb. 2 for their annual Groundhog Day celebration. Their resident weather prognosticator, French Creek Freddie, will emerge from his den at 10 a.m. According to legend, if he sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If Freddie doesn’t see his shadow, it will be an early spring!
  • Fasnacht – Visit the small town of Helvetia, which was settled by Swiss and German immigrants in the mid-1800s for their Fasnacht celebration. Fasnacht is the pre-lenten burning of Old Man Winter. It occurs on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and is likened to Mardi Gras.

Night Skiing

If you just can’t get enough skiing or snowboarding in during the day, many resorts offer night skiing to end your day the perfect way:

  • Winterplace Ski Resort – At Winterplace, night skiing is available on 26 slopes, the Terrain Park and Snow Tubing Park. You can even night ski for free with the purchase of an all-day lift ticket.
  • Snowshoe Mountain Resort – Snowshoe’s Silver Creek Area boasts glades, progressive terrain parks and, most importantly, their famous night skiing. The Silver Creek Area has 12 trails open for night skiing and night skiing is included with your day ticket.
  • Oglebay Resort – Brush up on your skiing and snowboarding skills or maybe even your tubing skills while you’re at it at Oglebay Resort. On Friday and Saturday, they stay open until 9 p.m. and on Sunday they stay open until 8 p.m. to meet all your snow sport needs.

Scenic Train Rides

Experience Almost Heaven in a whole new way with a scenic train ride. On a scenic train ride, you can take in some of the most beautiful views from across the state all while relaxing in the seat of a gorgeous train. Throughout the winter season, many train excursions are offered throughout different parts of the state. Try these excursions for winter memories and incredible views:

  • Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad – In December, hop aboard the Elf Limited and the Polar Express, excursions the whole family will enjoy. Join Jinx the Elf aboard the Elf Limited, Santa’s holiday train voyage. The Elf Limited excursion rambles into the enchanted forests of Cass. The Polar Express trip excursion is set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, and passengers get to relive the magic of the story. During the journey, the conductor will punch tickets, and dancing chefs serve hot chocolate. This trip excursion leaves from Elkins to the North Pole and back for an hour-and-a-half round trip.

Sleigh Rides

Have you been dreaming of dashing through the snow on a cozy sleigh ride? We have too – especially with some delicious hot cocoa right after.

  • The Greenbrier – At The Greenbrier, take the whole family or a romantic escape on a carriage ride through the sparkling snow and for gorgeous scenic views of the property. Afterward, warm up with some hot cocoa by the fire pit at the resort’s charming ice skating rink.
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This post was last updated on March 17, 2022