West Virginia is a popular place for skiing east of the Mississippi thanks to its mountainous regions and low prices, yet it’s a challenge to find a ski town there. Although there are four ski areas in the Mountain State, only two spots can be considered ski towns.
The abundance of outdoor recreation, low crime, and low cost of living are all factors for both visiting and living in West Virginia. So skiers and snowboarders can appreciate these locations that also put them close to the slopes.
Here are the top ski towns in West Virginia to live and visit, in no particular order:
Just north of the Canaan Valley, the quaint ski town of Davis lies along the Blackwater River high in the mountains near the Maryland border. It’s recognized as being the highest incorporated town in the state (at 3,520 feet), which puts it at a perfect elevation to be near the ski slopes.
Timberline Mountain (elevation 4,268′) is only ten miles away and is one of the state’s most popular ski areas with good reason. The resort has long runs including the longest in the southeast. It’s also possible to access backcountry skiing from the slopes.
Just a few miles further, Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center (elevation 4,280′) has a golf course, pools, and other summer activities along with downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Davis was established in 1884 when the railroad came through the area. The town once relied upon mining, timber, and the fur trade, but when those resources dwindled the town’s population did as well. In 2020 there were around 600 residents and today the economy has shifted to tourism and recreation.
Craft breweries and eclectic dining feature live music throughout the year or visit one of the many artisans in shops along the Appalachian Highway that runs through town. Picturesque clapboard buildings line the streets of Davis, but the real beauty lies in the mountains that encircle the ski town. Stay at one of the many inns or rentals, or several campgrounds in and around the community.
Surrounded by mountain biking and hiking trails, Davis has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy including whitewater rafting and fishing. The small alpine town has a homey and welcoming atmosphere perfect for anyone ready for a quieter pace of life.
Village of Snowshoe, WV
A short walk from the top of slopes of Snowshoe, the Village of Snowshoe has been developed over the last few decades as a year-round destination in the eastern part of the state near Virginia. The population hovers below 200 residents, but that doesn’t mean the ski town lacks amenities.
From dozens of shopping and dining options to hotels and condos available for rent, there are many choices for visitors and permanent residents alike. Everything is located at the top of the mountain, which can be a jarring experience for those accustomed to looking up at a ski resort’s trails.
As the second highest point in the state at 4,848 feet, the area around Cheat Mountain (home to Snowshoe’s ski area) generally receives plenty of snow in the winter and has cool and comfortable weather in the summer. The base village sits uniquely at the top, making it one of the “Upside Down Ski Areas”, more common on the East Coast than out West. The base of the mountain is 3,348 ft.
Nearby, Shavers Lake provides an abundance of water activities, and the mountains offer hiking and biking trails in the summer. Throughout the year, the area hosts renowned events for downhill skiers, snowboarders, and cyclists. The resort frequently features events like concerts or the popular pond skim at the close of the winter season.
West Virginia is known for its mountainous areas, and it’s hard to top the two highest spots in the state. Being in the heart of amazing scenery while still accessible to amenities and activities, either of these two ski towns is the perfect location to explore.