Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia is a great place to spend the chilly winter holidays, skiing and snowboarding with the family. However, the resort offers even more fun in summer for parents looking for adventure while their toddlers relax in the sun. After the snows have gone, activities at Snowshoe include relaxing on the resort’s exclusive beach, playing in the sand and gentle surf, attending fun festivals, downhill mountain biking, and exploring the mountain in off-road vehicles.
Shavers Lake & Lift
Snowshoe is a charming four-season mountain resort whose base village is filled with a variety of restaurants, shops, and places to stay. What may be its most noteworthy feature is Shavers lake, a watering hole that sits just at the base of the slopes on the backside of the mountain. It’s the perfect place to entertain infants and toddlers in summer, while older kids and adventurous adults check out the mountain terrain all around.
Our family had five kids under the age of 5 in tow, and camped mid-mountain on Snowshoe’s cool and shaded slopes. At play time, we were expecting it to be quite a feat to get everyone down the mountain and to the lake. However, at Snowshoe in summer, kids under 4 don’t have to pay for chairlift passes.
The scenic trip down to Shavers Lake is an adventure in itself. At the bottom we beheld a picturesque beach with perfect white sand where paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, and fishing poles were available (for a fee). The private beach is extremely kid-friendly, with a roped off swimming area, free beach toys, two playgrounds, sun shades, hammocks, cornhole bean bag toss, and a nice public bathroom.
If you’re looking to spend the whole day, an all-day lake activity pass starting at $40 may be worth investing in. It includes the paddleboats, fishing pole rental and canoes plus hydro bikes, three attempts on the climbing wall, and eurobungy for the kids.
Exploring Snowshoe’s Slopes
While we soaked up the sun on the beach, my sister’s husband and his friend enjoyed downhill mountain biking at the resort. They brought their own bikes and gear, but rentals are available at the Mountain Adventure Centre where you can get outfitted with all the gear you need and be tearing up the trails in no time.
The Snowshoe Mountain Bike Park is nationally recognized as one of the best in the United States, and offers nearly 20 trails, 1,500 vertical feet of descent, and chairlifts and shuttles to return riders to the summit. The men thoroughly enjoyed the trails and were not excited when we told them it was time to leave.
The resort also just launched a new off-roading tour called Green Zebra Adventures where drivers 18 and over, and passengers no younger than 5, can hop into one of the Green Zebra Tomcars and experience one of the most exciting and scenic off-road adventures in North America. The tour, which takes you through challenging terrain including creek crossings, steep switchback climbs, scenic ridges, rock beds, and mud pits, covers 14 miles of Snowshoe Mountain’s 11,000 acres of wilderness. Drivers will travel through nearly 2,000 vertical feet of elevation and see spectacular views of the West Virginia Highlands.
Other fun outdoor activites include Segway tours, geocache hunts, sporting clays, motorcycling through Pocahontas county, hiking, guided fly fishing trips, and pools in the village.
Kids Clubs and Fun
Snowshoe Mountain also offers summer kids club for all ages. Older kids from 12 to 15-years-old can tear up the trails with downhill mountain biking or take a paddle board clinic. Ages 7 to 11 can take a canoe trip or enjoy some hiking while kids 4 to 6 can play field games and swim among other activities. For evening fun, try the Kids Night Out for kids 4 to 15 Wednesday and Saturday evenings starting June 28th. Each child costs $49 with an add on sibling rate of $29. Don’t forget the swimsuits!
For a more adventurous outing, try the Hare Racer Zipline in the heart of the village and zip through the air. Two zips cost just $15 with each additional $5.
Lodging at Snowshoe Mountain
There are several places to spend the weekend, at all prices. On the grounds of Snowshoe Mountain Resort (877/441-4386), the mountain accommodations range from lodges, condos and townhomes to hotels, inns and camping. Prices vary, but lodging near or at the Snowshoe resort base tends to be the most expensive, especially during the ski season.
For the best in the area, the Inn at Snowshoe has accommodations starting at $$ per night in summer. The inn is located six miles from the slopes and the resort’s quaint village, and the rate comes with complimentary breakfast, pool, jacuzzi and exercise room. There is also a restaurant and an arcade for the kids.
Vantage Inn, located on Snowshoe’s North Mountain, is just a short walk from the village and Shavers Center. Significanly cheaper than other accommodations at Snowshoe, Vantage Inn family rooms go for just $ per night.
If you’re really hardcore, you won’t mind camping out like we did, at one of the nearby freestyle campsites. Lodging is, of course, free, and you can get maps and suggestions for campsites at the Snowshoe Mountain Resort front desk.
Select photos courtesy of Snowshoemnt.com
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