Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skiing in our region can be fickle, but when it is good, it is really
good. Gliding softly through a Spruce Forest with light snowflakes shimmering in
the sunlight is a wonderful experience.
There are a few different types of cross country skiing locations. All hiking trails are potential skiing trails if there is snow. This can mean an experience that includes breaking trail or skiing in a backcountry setting where there are few people or resources. Canaan Mountain, Otter Creek, Cranberry and Laurel Fork are good examples of this. Trails that are closer to home, think local or regional parks, may have a high enough volume of use that ski tracks and people are common. Snake Hill and Coopers Rock near Morgantown are good examples of this. The classic cross country ski locations are those that offer rentals, groomed trails, a warming hut and other amenities. White Grass, the Elk River Touring Center and Laurel Ridge State Park (PA) all provide these.
Best times to go:
The best season for cross country skiing is winter of course, but it is important to note that winter exists in the mountains longer than in the lower elevations. It is very common that it will be raining in Elkins, but snowing hard in Canaan Valley.