By Jessica LaRosa
Well, it’s winter here in Pittsburgh – which means plenty of snow and perhaps an abundance of time spent indoors. Why not escape the confines of your cozy home and hit the slopes? There’s no shortage of skiing and snowboarding in our area, so dig out your snow gear and head outside! Here’s a list of snowy spots for everyone from the hopeless romantic to the family man.
Best Mountain for a Romantic Getaway:
“Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia offers a beautiful escape in Canaan Valley. Canaan Valley is the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains. The resort is situated on a plateau overlooking the entire valley, providing fantastic scenic views of the mountaintops. With 39 slopes, including an 850-foot vertical drop, Canaan Valley is perfect for all of your skiing and snowboarding needs. The resort also offers a 250-room lodge and 23 cabins for overnight trips. As a four-season resort, you’ll also find massage therapy, an indoor pool, plenty of shopping and a variety of dining options.
Best Mountain for Snowboarding:
Seven Springs is by far the best local park for extreme winter sports. With six terrain parks, halfpipes, and a super pipe, you won’t be disappointed! The terrain parks vary in difficulty and boast more than 50 features in all – earning the resort national recognition, including the 2010-2011 number one choice for pipes on the East Coast. You can make this a day trip, or a weekend getaway as the resort also offers plenty of lodging, dining, and outdoor activities to keep you occupied for days.
Best Slopes for a Day Trip with the Kids:
Boyce Park is the easy choice for a close-by, kid-friendly day trip on the slopes. It doesn’t offer the same extreme drops or resort atmosphere as the others on this list, but it’s still a great spot for winter sports! Located right in Monroeville, Boyce Park is a good place to bring the kids since the commute will be short and the slopes will be pretty manageable for the novice skier. Affordable ski lessons and rentals are available to add to the convenience. And if the kids are too young to get the hang of skiing, there’s always snow tubing! Make sure to check out their website here for more information on pricing.
Best Mountain for the Family:
Located in the beautiful Laurel Mountains, Hidden Valley Resort is a great family retreat. With 28 trails and 9 lifts ranging from novice to double diamond expert, everyone will be able to find a slope that works for them. In addition to the trails, there’s also a ton of activities to keep the whole family happy. There are over 30 miles of cross-country trails, a halfpipe, and a comprehensive kids program that provides activities and lessons to children ages 3 and up! Of course, a ski resort wouldn’t be complete without snow tubing and Hidden Valley offers plenty of chutes, including the Ice Monster – the longest, steepest, snow tubing run in Pennsylvania!
Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at www.forthefunoffit.wordpress.com.