SNOWSHOE, W.Va. — When I heard Friday’s forecast I was excited. The weather service issued a heat advisory with temperatures for Saturday and Sunday expected to be nearing 100 degrees with high humidity. Why would this excite me? I wasn’t going to be here. My family and I were headed to the West Virginia mountains for a weekend at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Snowshoe is routinely the coolest spot in the state during all seasons. She didn’t disappoint this past weekend either. The mercury struggled to finally make 80 on top of the Pocahontas County mountain and it was mitigated by a near constant breeze which made it one of the most comfortable spots in the state.
Snowshoe is typically best known for its wintertime activities. Ski enthusiasts and those who enjoy snow boards, tubing, snow mobiles, and other winter activities know the resort well. However, what is less known is Snowshoe is a year-round resort. It’s a not so well kept secret as more and more find activities on the mountain an attraction for families from all over the east coast.
I scanned the parking lot this weekend and noticed various license plates from Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Arkansas. Yeah, I don’t understand the Arkansas connection, but hey, welcome to West Virginia Razorback.
Cool and comfortable temperatures are just the beginning of why summer is my favorite time at Snowshoe. I can’t ski and the consideration of me on a snowboard is more than laughable, it’s downright dangerous. So wintertime at Snowshoe isn’t my thing. But summer and fall are incredible. The resort offers much more to do than one might think. There’s plenty of lodging since the crowds aren’t nearly as big as a ski weekend so getting nice accommodations is easy. The resort features a unique swimming pool which allows one to go outdoors or indoors without leaving the water. The pool is also open during the winter–and since it’s heated that’s an unusual attraction in a different season.
There are lake activities which include swimming with an array of inflatable toys for kids and their parents alike. Shaver’s Lake in the winter time is where the resort draws water to make snow when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. During the summer, the lake becomes a playground. You can choose a canoe, jon boat, kayak, or paddle board for an afternoon of entertainment–and cool off in the mountain water. The lake features the highest beach east of the Mississippi.
Mountain biking isn’t my thing, but it is for a lot of folks and they flock to Snowshoe. Many were there just to take trip after trip down the various downhill bike courses established on the now snow barren ski slopes. It’s as challenging a downhill course as any in the east from what I’m told and once you’re at the bottom, the ski lift is retrofitted to carry you and your bike back to the top.
Other attractions include zip lines through the center of the Snowshoe village, a tour of the mountain on those unusual Segue machines, off roading in an ATV, or sporting clays (now we’re talking my language).
The most unique experience, and one I highly recommend, is dinner at the wilderness hut. Groups of up to 20 each Saturday night travel via UTV to a remote cabin on the resort’s mountain property where the staff prepares a fantastic dinner which you can enjoy in the solitude of the West Virginia back country.
The name may say Snowshoe, but even when the snow is gone, it’s a great weekend destination for anyone in West Virginia wanting to relax and cool off.