Blackwater Falls State Park

Winter Adventure Itineraries for Rookies

Welcome to West Virginia’s winter wonderland. Where first timers have as much fun as seasoned winter veterans. Here’s how you do it.

1. Take a ski or snowboard lesson with Canaan Valley Ski School or Timberline Ski School. First timer packages which including lift ticket, equipment rental, and professionally taught lessons are highly recommended. Half-day and full-day lessons are an option for young children and adults determined to tackle the slopes.

2. Enter the fantasy world of frozen waterfalls in Blackwater Falls State Park. There is something mesmerizing about the awesome size and power of a waterfall that becomes frozen in place. Especially when it’s 70 feet tall. Blackwater Falls at the Gentle Trail overlook and Elakala Falls along Elakala Trail are conveniently located a very short distance from parking areas. Make the Smokehouse at Blackwater Falls a stop when visiting Elakala falls, they are both located at the main lodge.

3. Sledding and s'mores! Blackwater Falls State Park is home to the longest sled run on the east coast. That’s right! The magic carpet people mover whisks you up the hill in a matter of minutes for unadulterated fun for the whole family. Add in roasting s’mores by the fire located at the sled hill lodge patio and you have a true winter experience. S’mores can be purchased on site or brought in.


Elakala Falls in Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis West Virginia

4. Make your way to Canaan Valley State Parks’ main lodge for a skate around their outdoor ice rink. The rink is the same size as an actual ice hockey rink, providing ample space to cruise or crawl around the oval. Sideboards found on hockey rinks are installed so that beginners are guaranteed sure footing.

5. Before making those lodging reservations consider renting a place that has an outdoor hot tub. This is crowd favorite among kids and adults alike. A sure cure to soar muscles from a day on the slopes is remedied by a hot soak. No matter the snow storm, hot tubs never give up when Mother Nature delivers a fresh blanket of snow for the next day’s winter adventure.

6. Sliding around on snow sounds a bit too risky? Stay planted to terra firma with snowshoes. Modern snowshoes have a narrow imprint and sharp crampons for digging into hard ice, making for a pleasant care free walking experience. Rent snowshoes at Whitegrass Cross Country Resort, Canaan Valley State Park Recreation Center, and Blackwater Falls State Park Sled Hill.

Snowshoe Whitegrass Cross Country Ski Resort