Winter is upon us again in the NC High Country, which means it's time to break out the skis/snowboards and hit the snow! With several resorts to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to spend the day, so we've picked out a few things about each resort that make them unique. Click on the titles to visit their websites.
Appalachian touts its family-friendly vibe, taking pride in its lack of alcohol sales and abundance of ski lessons. The French Swiss Ski College is one of the best in the state and has taught over a million people how to ski. For beginners, they offer a magic carpet moving sidewalk to take you to the top of the bunny slope. The slopes themselves are not as steep as other resorts, so it’s perfect for a beginner to get in a longer run without being intimidated.
Beech Mountain Resort has one of the highest average snowfalls of any of the High Country Resorts, and is a great place to enjoy Apres Ski events such as live music and even a Beer Festival. Beech Mountain Ski Resort officially opened its doors fifty years ago, ushering in a new era of snow sports activity on one of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River. As part of this Golden Jubilee year celebration, an exceptional run of shows will be hosted by the resort.
Take a break from skiing and stop at the state of the art 5,506' Umbrella Bar at the summit of the mountain to enjoy sweeping views of three states. Enjoy a beer brewed in the village below at the Beech Mountain Brewing Company, or check out the equipment and see beer brewing first hand.
While Sugar and Beech Mountain also have snow tubing available, Hawksnest takes the cake. The 20-lane snow tubing park features two conveyor lifts and four areas to tube. The lanes are between 400 to 1,000 feet long, and recently Hawksnest invested $200,000 to add more lighting, new snowmaking equipment and a new lane groomer machine.<
Also, don’t forget about the zipline course that runs year round and features 20 cables, four of which are super or mega zips. In all, the zipline course has four miles of riding, reaching more than 200 feet in height and speeds of up to 50 mph.
With 21 trails and 125 skiable acres, Sugar Mountain Resort is the largest of all of the High Country Ski & Tube Resorts. They also boast the most amount of advanced trails. One of the trails, Whoopdeedoo, holds double black diamond status. It’s possible to ski 1.5 miles on an uninterrupted downhill run at Sugar, a rare find in the region. Their newest slope, Gunther’s Way, provides challenges for both blue and black level skiers. It’s 150 wide and 2,900 feet long and includes a 700-foot vertical. With a new state of the art 6 person high speed lift, you can get more runs in on their varied terrain.
Sugar also offers some nice wintry alternatives, such as snowshoeing and ice skating.
Looking to enjoy winter sports in the High Country all winter? Many residents can see exceptional returns on purchasing a home that can be used for vacation rentals. For more information about homes available, contact Leslie Eason at 828-406-0828 or LEason@Boone.net. Feel free to peruse homes for sale in the Appalachian Ski Community, and the towns of Beech Mountain, and Sugar Mountain. (click titles)