A Southern Snowcation in North Carolina’s High Country

The following post is written by guest reviewer Sue Rodman of Field Trips with Sue.

Living in the Deep South has its advantages. Our mild winters mean pretty much any outdoor activity has year round accessibility. My boys have even been able to swim in the ocean over Christmas break. But when winter rolls around, sometimes it’s fun to be able to play in the snow too.

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I’m from Atlanta. We don’t get much snow, and when we do it generally shuts down the entire city. That’s great news for the kids who just head out to the local golf course instead of going to school, but by late morning, the snow is gone and you’re sledding down a mud trail.

For Southerners who want a real winter experience, but don’t have the time, money or inclination to head out west or to the Northeast, North Carolina’s High Country has some of the best southern skiing, as well as wintertime activities. Plus, most of the mountains have their own snow making capabilities, so even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you’re still guaranteed a little winter white.

Skiing in North Carolina 

The High Country of North Carolina has six different ski resorts. The most well known, are Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain. These resorts offer high-speed chair lifts and beginner through advanced trails, as well as lots to do off the slopes. However, don’t discount the smaller resorts, especially if you have young or novice skiers. Appalachian Mountain’s French Swiss Ski College is one of the best in the state and has taught over a million people how to ski. Cataloochee Ski Resort caters to the first time skier with beginner trails covering almost half of the mountain.

Off the Slopes Fun

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You don’t have to ski in order to enjoy a winter snow vacation. Hawks Nest is a snow tubing park in the area and a favorite for visitors and locals. They also have a zip line course that is open throughout the winter. Sugar, Beech, Wolf Ridge and Sapphire Valley ski resorts also have snow-tubing parks, and Sapphire Valley even has a zip line. One of my favorite wintertime activities is ice-skating. Sugar, Beech, and App Mountain have an ice-skating rink on site. App Mountain’s ice skating arena was even voted one of the best rinks for families by Family Travel site Trekaroo. The City of Beech Mountain maintains a free family sledding hill in the middle of town with snow guns to ensure coverage and referees so it doesn’t get too crazy.  The Buckeye Recreation Center on Beech Mountain rents snowshoes for anyone that would like to hike through the gorgeous trails during winter.

Photo credit: Beech Mtn and Sue Rodman

 

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