Depressed that the winter season is over? No worries. Mid-Atlantic ski resorts will provide plenty of activities this summer to distract you from the fact that there is no snow on the ground. Here’s a look at what some local areas have planned.
Wisp Resort - If things get too hot, head to the cooler air in western Maryland to enjoy a slate of activities at Wisp Resort. Located at Deep Creek Lake, Wisp offers activities including golf, canopy tours, Segway tours, mountain biking, and more. The Mountain Coaster, a hybrid of an alpine slide and a roller coaster, takes riders down an exhilarating 3,500 feet of track twisting, turning, dipping, and rolling. Wisp will be offering scenic chairlift rides, and you’ll also find whitewater rafting nearby. wispresort.com
Beech Mountain Resort - The Beech Mountain Resort Downhill Series will bring mountain bike racers and spectators to the North Carolina resort three weekends this summer (July 19-20, August 23-24, and September 20-21, 2014). But if you’re not a competitive mountain bike racer, you find plenty of mountain bike trails you can take at your own pace. In fact, Beech Mountain is hard at work constructing and growing a Bike Park that will have few peers on the East Coast. The resort will also be offering scenic lift rides and Disc Golf. beechmountainresort.com
Sugar Mountain Resort - With a peak altitude of 5,300 feet above sea level, Sugar Mountain provides a respite from hot temperatures. A network of trails will keep mountain bikers and hikers happy, and if that’s not your thing, you might enjoy a round of golf or a bit of tennis. Sugar Mountain has planned a number of festivals this summer, including the 3rd Annual SugarBrew festival (Saturday, August 2, 2014), the BBQ Boot Camp (July 18-19, 2014), and the ever-popular Oktoberfest at the end of the season (October 11-12, 2014). skisugar.com
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort - Blue Knob maintains mountain biking trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert. Nearby Blue Knob State Park offers 18 miles of hiking trails and trout fishing. You’ll also find a 9-hole mountain top golf course at Blue Knob. blueknob.com
Hidden Valley Resort - Set into the natural fall lines of the mountain, Hidden Valley Resort offers an 18-hole championship golf course with tree-lined fairways. Hidden Valley is also home to the Trillium Spa, which provides treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages. The Pennsylvania resort can also host weddings or other special occasions, offering multiple venues and dining services. hiddenvalleyresort.com
Liberty Mountain Resort - The Carroll Valley Golf Course is the main summertime activity at Liberty Mountain, combining 18 holes of championship golf with the rolling hills of South Central PA. Liberty Mountain also hosts weddings and meetings throughout the summer. This summer, Liberty will be busy building a new lodge to replace the existing Carroll Valley Clubhouse building; construction is expected to continue through Spring, 2015. libertymountainresort.com
Roundtop Mountain Resort - Anyone up for some paintball? A brand new airball field has been installed at Roundtop for the summer of 2014. Open to walk-in players on weekends, Roundtop’s paintball operation is the largest and most varied in central Pennsylvania. A lower-impact game of “SplatMaster” is also offered. If paintball isn’t for you, you can pick from a wide assortment of mountain adventures including OGO Balls, a Switchback Tower, an Alpine Traverse, a Cedar Maze, Tree House zip lines, a Canopy Crawl, bumper boats, scenic chairlift rides, and more. An Adventure Package ($39 ages 11-64, $29 ages 5-10 and 65+) covers many of the activities. Roundtop also offers a Ropes Course and the ability to “mine” for real gem stones or fossils in a sluice. With so many activities available, Roundtop serves as a great place for kids to visit, and Roundtop will be running multiple summer camps for children ages 8-16. Older children (ages 16-17) can also train to be future counselors. skiroundtop.com
Seven Springs Mountain Resort - Seven Springs bills itself as “Pennsylvania’s Summer Adventure Headquarters,” and it has a veritable buffet of recreational activities to back that statement up. Those with an adventurous spirit can select from activities such as a canopy experience and zip line, downhill bike park, summer tubing, Segway tours, alpine slide, alpine tower, Disc Golf, Eurobungy, paintball, paddleboats, a rock wall, and even Hydrobikes. If all of that doesn’t wear you out, you can still hike or bike miles of trails. The 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail also passes near the resort. Scenic chairlift rides are offered, and you can play a round of golf on the resort’s par 71 golf course, or try your hand at shooting with sporting clay courses. The Trillium Spa at Seven Springs provides a place to relax and unwind, and multiple on-site dining options are available ranging from fine dining to casual. Seven Springs is also a short drive from three of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural landmarks: Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, and Duncan House. 7springs.com
Whitetail Resort - The big activities at Whitetail this summer are golf, fly fishing, and adventure camps for kids. Whitetail’s 18-hole championship golf course is open daily and provides scenic views. If fly fishing is more your style, or you’d like to try fly fishing for the first time, the Dusty Wissmath Fly Fishing School and Guide Service is available at Whitetail. Clinics are offered throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Whitetail is also offering several Summer Adventure Camps for kids aged 7-16. Each week-long experience will teach children valuable new skills and give them the chance to enjoy the outdoors. Whitetail can also host weddings, banquets, and meetings. skiwhitetail.com
Bryce Resort - The family-oriented Bryce Resort has an 18-hole, Par 71 championship golf course, and just launched a new mountain bike park. The mountain bike park features 7 lift-accessed trails catering to different skill levels. Bryce also offers a zip line, which criss-crosses the mountain on 10 different lines, allowing participants to cruise 80 feet above ground, passing over chairlifts at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. The Lake Laura Beach and Boating Center provides canoe, paddleboat, and paddleboard rentals. Swimming is also available in Lake Laura. Note that Bryce Resort will not be offering grass skiing and mountain boarding during the summer of 2014, as the Redeye slope has ongoing snowmaking construction. bryceresort.com
The Homestead - The Homestead is always a nice summertime retreat, with activities to keep the entire family happy. The Homestead may be most famous for its natural hot springs, which have been drawing visitors to the area for centuries, including one Thomas Jefferson who visited in 1818. Named in his honor, the Jefferson Pools are naturally heated. A two-acre outdoor pool area called Allegheny Springs is also available. But hot springs are merely the warming act for the Homestead; you’ll find a smorgasbord of activities including golf, mini-golf, horseback riding, hiking, carriage rides, Segway tours, fly fishing, sporting clays, kayaking and canoeing, paintball, archery, biking, and even falconry. If all of that tires you out, book a treatment at the Spa at the Homestead. The 2,000 acre resort and hotel was purchased by Omni Hotels & Resorts in 2003 and is now branded as the Omni Homestead. thehomestead.com
Massanutten Resort - An extensive indoor WaterPark might be a good reason to visit Massanutten Resort this summer (or, in fact, year-round); it includes a FlowRider for surfing (the largest in Virginia), a “rapids” tubing river, various slides, and many more water features. Once you dry off, you can take in a round of golf at two separate 18-hole courses, or relax in the Spa at Massanutten. There is plenty of hiking nearby, too. Massanutten will be hosting Summer Jam festivals on July 3 and August 30, 2014. massresort.com
Wintergreen Resort - The scenery at Wintergreen Resort is no less spectacular in the summer as it is in the winter. You’ll be able to pair up a lot of fun activities with that scenery this summer. The Discovery Ridge Adventure Center provides activities such as a zip line, summer tubing, a bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, and mini-golf. Other activities include 30 miles of hiking trails, golf, tennis, swimming, a spa, and nearby fly fishing. wintergreenresort.com
Canaan Valley Resort - You can enjoy the cooler Allegheny Mountain air with a trip to West Virginia’s Canaan Valley Resort this summer. An 18-hole, par 72 golf course provides views of the mountain, or you can hike on trails that explore wetlands, northern hardwood forests, and open meadows. Mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, and sporting clays are also available. In June, 2014, Canaan Valley Resort plans to open a rope tow-serviced “Turtle Slide Tube Ride,” providing a similar experience to wintertime snow tubing runs. Canaan Valley Resort also plans to have a climbing wall and Eurobungy available this summer. Throughout the resort you’ll find horseshoe pits, a playground, a sand volleyball court, a soccer field, a softball diamond, tennis courts, and more. Note that Canaan Valley Resort recently discontinued paintball. canaanresort.com
Snowshoe Mountain Resort - Ample recreational opportunities will keep you busy at Snowshoe this summer. With nearly 40 trails and 1,500 vertical feet of descent, Snowshoe’s Bike Park has received national recognition as one of the best in the U.S. Located in scenic Pocahontas County, you can explore miles and miles of hiking trails. Or, you can golf at the Raven Golf Club, an 18-hole PGA Championship course designed by Gary Player. Other activities include Polaris RZR tours, sporting clays, scenic chairlift rides, wilderness Segway tours, guided horseback rides, geocaching and orienteering challenges, a zipline, a climbing wall, and pedal boat and canoe rentals on Shavers Lake. If you get bored with all those activities, you can use Snowshoe as a base to explore the nearby Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Green Bank Telescope, or Greenbrier River Trail. snowshoemtn.com
Timberline Four Seasons Resort - Located in the scenic Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia, Timberline Resort is offering a range of outdoor activities this summer including Timber Zips, a new zip line, and hundreds of miles of nearby mountain biking trails and hiking, many accessible via chairlift. Near Timberline Resort you’ll also find horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and golf (traditional and mini). You can use Timberline Resort as a base to explore nearby Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, and the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Timberline plans to offer entertainment on weekends throughout the summer season. timberlineresort.com
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
Awesome the resorts have things to do for vacationers. I am all for it! Summer is one of the busiest times in Canaan Valley when visitors flock here from memorial day to labor day. However, there is one very sore subject for the residents of Canaan Valley, WV that started last year and is continuing this year. That would be the "sporting clay" shooting range at Canaan Valley state park. The way the range is positioned, residents of Canaan Valley can hear the gun blasts echoing up the valley for miles and miles. Not a big deal to hear some shots you may think? Well, on most weekends, it is ALL day non-stop! Most of us live here in a rural setting for the peace and quiet and enjoying being able to hear every bird, cricket and peep frog. On weekends all we hear is blam!, blam!, blam! Imagine kicking back on your porch in the middle of no where expecting to have some peace and quiet with the nature around you, only to be graced with non-stop gun blasts...all.....day....long! The park says they have recieved no complaints apparently, which is not correct. The problem is, they did not do a noise polution evaluation based on where it would be best placed. I think it would be better suited over where the old tubing park was, facing south, instead of where the new park is, facing north. Perhaps the new concessionaires will be more receptive to the local residents of Canaan Valley, but I suspect the WVDNR has a lot to do with it also. A petition has started to circulate, and I plan to help bring as much awareness about the problem as possible, so hopefully it will gain some needed traction!