Looking for awesome skiing and snowboarding in the eastern United States? Then look no further than North Carolina! To be honest, I never thought of North Carolina as a ski destination, but after visiting two of the six (Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, Cataloochee Ski Area, Sapphire Valley, Sugar Mountain Resort and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort) ski resorts in the state, I’m a believer! With beautiful mountain views the slopes of North Carolina are a winter sports enthusiast’s dream!
I had the pleasure to visit Wolf Ridge Ski Resort and Cataloochee Ski Area, both providing wonderful skiing with gorgeous mountain views!
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort:
Located in Mars Hills (situated in Madison County) approximately a 30 minute drive north of Asheville, the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort (elevation 4,000-4,700 feet) offers 82 acres of ski terrain including a terrain park and snow making capabilities. With fifteen ski runs including four green, eight blue and three black diamond slopes, every level of skier and snowboarder will enjoy the slopes at Wolf Ridge. The resort offers lockers and equipment rental such as skis, boots, poles, snowboards, helmets and snow bibs. The rustic lodge provides skiers and snowboarders a nice resting space with views of the slopes and a cozy fireplace to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. With a full service cafeteria, the lodge is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before or after hitting the slopes. The rustic lodge also has plenty of space to accommodate large groups and families.
Since I haven’t skied in over ten years, I took advantage of Wolf Ridge’s Snow Sports School for a ski refresher course. Private and group lessons are offered for ages 5 and up (although private lessons are recommended for the younger skiers). I had a private lesson with Brandon (who was awesome!) to refresh my memory of ski tips and safety and to gain my confidence on the slopes. Brandon quickly allowed me to become the confident skier that I once was! Since he has been a skier/snowboarder most of his life, he provided valuable knowledge and skills to make me want to hit the slopes and to enjoy skiing again! Thanks Brandon!
Along with wonderful slopes, the cozy lodge and friendly staff, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers accommodations such as cabins, condos, mountain chalets and townhomes. We stayed at one of the three-story townhomes which included an updated kitchen, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, cozy fireplace, an outdoor deck with hot tub and grill, and gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
With breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, any time of the year is ideal to plan a getaway to the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort! During the warmer months take advantage of the Appalachian Trail, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and nearby Asheville!
Cataloochee Ski Area:
Located in Maggie Valley (situated in Haywood County) approximately a 45 minute drive to Asheville, the Cataloochee Ski Area (elevation 4,660-5,400 feet) offers 50 acres of ski terrain including the Cat Cage Terrain Park and snowmaking capabilities. With eighteen slopes and trails which offer differing degrees of difficulty, every level of skier or snowboarder will enjoy the slopes of Cataloochee Ski Area. With their location perched high in the Smoky Mountains, Cataloochee boasts the longest running ski season in the Southeast! The on-site full service rental shop has more than 4,000 sets of ski and snowboarding equipment and the Cataloochee Ski and Sports Shop sells various winter sports items and ski themed memorabilia. Skiers and snowboarders can take a break from the slopes to enjoy the large indoor lodge facilities and outdoor deck and grab a bite to eat before or after hitting the slopes at their full service cafeteria.
Although I gained some confidence during my ski lesson at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, I decided to take another lesson at the Cataloochee Ski and Snowboard School. My instructor, Susan, has been skiing for over 30 years! After a few minutes together on the bunny hill, she recognized my past skiing abilities and suggested we hit the slopes, so away we went on the lift up the mountain. With soft powdery (just made) snow, my first run I slowly progressed down the slope, after my initial run I remembered how much I enjoyed skiing! The Ski and Snowboard School offers a Slide in 5 package ($299) which includes lift tickets, ski rentals, and lessons for any five days during the season, after completing the lessons each participant will receive a FREE set of skis! I only wish I lived closer to take advantage of the Slide in 5 ski lesson package!
One of my favorite things about the Cataloochee Ski Area is the breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains that surround you on the lifts and atop the slopes! Although Cataloochee Ski Area doesn’t have lodging on site, numerous hotels, bed & breakfast, cabins and condos are nearby in Maggie Valley and Waynesville.
Next time you are planning a ski or snowboarding trip, why not visit North Carolina for their amazing slopes! Not a skier or snowboarder? No problem! The mountains of North Carolina have plenty of outdoor winter activities such as snow tubing, sledding, ice climbing and winter hiking. Outdoor enthusiasts of any age will find the perfect winter activity to keep them active and warm all winter long in North Carolina!
A special thanks to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Cataloochee Ski Area, Visit NC Smokies and Visit North Carolina! I was an invited guest of Visit NC Smokies and Visit North Carolina in exchange for writing travel posts about my experience. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own! I hope this post encourages you to plan your next ski or snowboarding trip to North Carolina!
What’s your favorite ski or snowboarding destination? Please let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!