Hit the Slopes this Winter
Winter is here, the snow is falling, and the ski slopes have never looked
Snow may not currently be falling on your driveway, but you don’t have to travel too far to find your nearest winter oasis. With four ski resorts nearby and dozens of trails to hit, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sports around,
and ski resorts provide different and challenging trails, perfect for
first-timers and the most seasoned skiers.
Let’s check out a few excellent local options for you and your friends to take a day off and hit the slopes.
Just across the Pennsylvania line in
Fairfield is Ski Liberty, a mountaintop known for its elaborate trails and
challenging parks. The resort offers skiers and snowboarders 22 different
trails for hours of rides and exploration. If skiing and snowboarding are not
your cups of tea, tubing is also available. A mountainside plunge on an
inflatable tube might be more your speed.
For locals, access to the slopes is nothing more than a short drive away. For the out-of-town crowd, the Liberty Hotel’s Alpine Lodge provides the perfect getaway for a cozy stay, just at the foot of the mountain.
Liberty offers packages for the casual rider and for patrons who can’t get enough of the mountain. With various learning programs, there is availability for everyone to pick up a new sport at their own pace.
Keep your eyes open for sweet deals, too, particularly if you’re just picking up skiing and snowboarding. January is “Learn to Ski/Snowboard Month,” so every Thursday in January offers a discounted package for beginners, fully equipped with rental gear and programs to improve your abilities almost overnight.
Personalized learning is vital for kids to develop the skills necessary to carve down the mountain safely. With full-size classes and one-on-one instruction, there are many learning opportunities for everyone.
With dozens of musical guests, taproom takeovers, and multiple mountaintop events, Liberty has everything you could want in a weekend trip and more.
Ski Liberty is located at 78 Country Club Trail in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.
Whitetail is a great spot to find a mix of balanced trails and more difficult ones, with 23 different routes to ride and numerous trails that lead into others. The shift from trail to trail can add a bit of a challenge, as some of the popular, easier trails may peel off into higher-skilled black diamond runs.
Like Liberty, Whitetail provides instruction for learning the basics, along with rails, boxes, and ramps for riders who like to add a dash of excitement to the slopes.
If you get hungry after a few hours tearing up the snow, don’t fret, there are plenty of options for even the pickiest of eaters. The resort has a pizzeria, café, and a marketplace with a multitude of culinary options.
Whitetail has plenty of great slopes to check out, but you can’t forget their “Ski in the New Year Celebration” event just on the horizon. On New Year’s Eve, riders can ski and snowboard from 2019 into 2020, with lifts staying open until 1:00 a.m. New Year’s Day. The marketplace will also have a DJ and dancing, so there is no shortage of ways to celebrate a brand-new decade.
Whitetail Resort is located at 13805 Blairs Valley Road in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
Ski Roundtop is the oldest of the three local mountains, celebrating its 55th year in business. Roundtop rounds out the trio, with 20 slopes and parks and multiple excellent amenities available—the makings for a great night are on your horizon.
If you’re new to the mountain life, Roundtop’s sports shop has a variety of services available, including ski and snowboard tuning and expert advice on equipment and brand-name apparel.
Having programs designed to teach young kids valuable skills to stay safe while riding is a valuable option for any parent leery of their child’s well-being on the mountain.
Roundtop’s Mountain Explorer’s Program is a multi-week course, offered several times throughout the season, designed to get your child from just strapping on the skis to being well on their way to autonomously exploring the mountain. Children get to learn from the same instructor each week and make a few friends along the way, so it’s a great way to get kids into a learning environment that provides them with constructive technique proficiency and a whole lot of fun.
Roundtop Mountain Resort is located at 925 Roundtop Road in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania.
The farthest of the four slopes, Wisp Resort lies just inside the Maryland/West Virginia border, but it still draws quite the crowd.
With events offered almost daily, there is always something new and exciting to experience at the resort. Wisp offers a nice balance of trails, with about 33 percent of the runs falling into the beginner category, and a near equivalent number in intermediate and advanced.
Even if skiing and snowboarding is not your style, Wisp also has tubing, ice skating, and a mountain coaster to get your blood pumping on a cool winter day.
Wisp is the only resort in Maryland opened year-round, and typically keeps the slopes running for 120 days per year.
Wisp Resort is located at 296 Marsh Hill Road in McHenry, Maryland.
For new skiers and snowboarders, one of the biggest deterrents to getting out and enjoying the mountain is the struggle to learn the mechanics of how to ride effectively. All four resort options offer instructional courses with experienced riders to give newbies—young and old—a chance to dive into a fun, new winter sport.
Regardless of which mountain you choose, there are challenging courses tailored to your skill level, ranging from bunny slopes for kids to double black diamonds reserved for pros and the overly ambitious. And don’t forget, tubing is available at all three resorts, with options for a solo ride or a linked tube with you and a handful of friends.
So, if you’re in the market for some winter adventures, zip up the jackets, strap into your ski boots, and hit the slopes for a day packed with snow-filled fun.