Appalachian Ski Lodge Roundup

Published on January 01, 2015
Written by Ray Access

While it’s true that the Appalachian Mountains don’t possess the shear heights or double-diamond runs that are typically found in the Rockies, the Tetons and other western ranges, you can still find decent skiing here. The advantage of these ski resorts is that they’re closer, and they’re exciting enough to provide a fun day for the whole family. The disadvantage is that the resorts are clustered in the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here is a roundup of ski lodges in Central Appalachia:

Skiing in Georgia

The skiing that attracts most Georgians is out of state, in Alabama or North Carolina, but Sky Valley Resort offers some skiing and snowboarding runs within state lines. Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park features only sledding and tubing. Both are family-caliber activities, meaning serious skiers should look elsewhere.

North Carolina Skiing

The mountains of Western North Carolina feature three established ski resorts: Cataloochee Ski Area, Sugar Mountain Resort and Wolf Laurel Ski Resort. All three are safe, established resorts within an easy drive of Asheville. Each offers slopes of varying degrees of difficulty.

Skiing in South Carolina

Upstate South Carolina means the foothills to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It does not, unfortunately, mean skiing. As in Kentucky, there are no ski resorts in South Carolina. South Carolina skiers, if there are any, cross the border into North Carolina to go skiing.

Tennessee Skiing

Ober Gatlinburg, in the Smoky Mountains, may provide the best skiing in the entire Southeast. They offer trails for all ages and abilities. Snowboarders are also welcome here. As the resort has grown, they’ve added trails and services, including equipment rentals. Located near the Tennessee-North Carolina border, Ober Gatlinburg attracts skiers from seven states.

Skiing in Virginia

The Appalachian Mountains form Virginia’s western border. As a result, Virginia has several active ski resorts. Wintergreen Resort offers skiing and other activities, as well as top-rate amenities. Bryce Resort is due west of Washington, DC. Massanutten Resort boasts the most vertical feet in the state for skiing and snowboarding. Finally, the Omni Homestead Resort, which we reviewed last month, also offers skiing.

West Virginia Skiing

West Virginia has mountains, and West Virginians ski. Snowshoe Mountain is a popular resort with everything you want in a resort, and more. Winterplace Ski Resort, Canaan Valley Resort, Oglebay Resort and Timberline Resort all offer great skiing in West Virginia.

Kentucky Skiing

Skiing in Kentucky is the same as skiing in Nebraska: nonexistent. If you are a skier in Kentucky, you have to travel to Indiana or Tennessee to satisfy your downhill habit. The few ski resorts that have opened in the state are now closed.

If you live in (or travel to) Central Appalachia, chances you can find skiing nearby. Many of the better resorts are open all year round, with golf courses, spas and other activities and amenities. Call ahead for conditions and rates.