Winter Sports Round-Up
Are you sick of being stuck inside and ready to enjoy the winter weather? There might not be snow on the ground in Waynesboro, but chilly temperatures and snow-making equipment have allowed nearby ski resorts to lay down a solid base. Waynesboro is just a short drive away from skiing, snowboarding, and ice-skating hotspots as well as lots of other winter fun. Why not head out for an invigorating day in the cold air before heading back to town to warm up with a great meal?
Nearby Skiing, Snowboarding, and More
Wintergreen Ski Resort offers four seasons of fun in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the winter, visitors can ski, snowboard, and snow tube on more than two dozen slopes and trails with options for various ability levels. You can hone your freestyle skills on the terrain park, and if you’re new to winter sports, you can take group or individual lessons. Lift lines are short, thanks to two high-speed 6-pack chairlifts. Check out season passes and lift and lodging packages. There’s even a spa so you can really relax after a hard day on the slopes.
Ski day and night on Massanutten Resort's 23 ski runs, which wind through 80 skiable acres. The runs are serviced by seven lifts and include trails appropriate for all ability levels. There’s also a freestyle area on the slopes, 16 lanes of snow tubing, and ice skating on a 5,000-square-foot rink. Visitors can sign up for lessons, grab a snack (and a beer) at the indoor-outdoor Base Camp grill, or warm up with comfort food at the Campfire Grill. If you need a break from the snow, visit Massanutten’s indoor waterpark, which boasts slides, pools, lazy rivers, and water that’s always 84 degrees.
Resorts a Few Hours Away
Another good bet for winter fun is Bryce Mountain Resort, which is a four-season resort tucked away in the Allegheny foothills. Visitors can ski and snowboard on eight slopes. There’s a special area dedicated to beginners that’s serviced by carpet lifts. Want to start your kids on the slopes? If they’re under five, they can ski or snowboard for free with a ticketed adult! Beginners ages 8 and up can book lessons with certified instructors at the Horst Locher Snowsports School. Three 800-foot snow tubing lanes and an ice skating rink round out the fun.
The Omni Homestead Resort is located to the west in the Alleghenies. Its nine carefully groomed runs are serviced by snow machines to ensure they’re always covered. The resort offers the Sepp Kober Ski School for all beginners and a Little Penguins Program for kids aged 5-11. There’s a special teaching area and beginner-friendly lower trail as well as trails for intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort has been recognized as “one of the top Beginner Friendly and Family Friendly ski resorts in the Southeast in the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards.” The Homestead also boasts an Olympic-sized ice rink and a luxury spa.
The slopes at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center are covered with Snowflex, a special artificial surface that makes it possible for visitors to ski and snowboard all year round. Sign up for lessons or hit the freestyle areas to practice your skills. There are two tubing runs and a sledding hill as well as an Olympic-grade trampoline. The resort offers rental equipment.
You’ll have a bit of a drive to reach Snowshoe Mountain Resort, but more than 60 trails and glades and access to five terrain parks will make the time in the car worth it. Lessons at the “world’s friendliest ski school” and snow provided by “Mother Nature and the Mid-Atlantic’s most powerful fleet of snowmakers” should put this resort at the top of your list. Visitors can enjoy activities like night skiing, tubing, and snowmobiling. Warm up after your day in the cold with some time in Split Rock Pools, an indoor/outdoor heated swimming area with pools, slides, a hot tub, and more.
Practice your spins at leaps at the ice skating rink at Generations Park, Bridgewater. The rink is open 7 days a week through the first weekend in March. You can reserve tickets and skates ahead of time online. If you’ve never skated before, sign up for some group, private, or semi-private lessons through the Ice Skating Academy.
The 2.2-mile Turk Mountain Hike starts at the Turk Mountain Parking Area along the Skyline Drive. The hike summits with endless views to the west.
Also along the Skyline Drive, the 3.5-mile Chimney Rock Hike is considered moderately difficult. It offers striking views of Calvary Rocks and Chimney Rock.
The Dobie Mountain trailhead can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hikers can enjoy solitude, a scenic overview, and a glimpse of an antique plane wreck.
Closer to home, the 4.5-mile out-and-back Blue Ridge Tunnel hike follows an old railroad bed and takes explorers under Afton Mountain. Bonus: the tunnel keeps to a temperate 50 degrees all year long.