Your 2023 West Virginia Winter Bucket List

November 27, 2023

It’s never too early to begin planning for the winter season and what better getaway than a trip to the Mountain State? To make it easier on you, we’re sharing a bucket list featuring some of Almost Heaven’s most spectacular activities.

Blackwater Falls Sled Run

Looking for a winter activity that the entire family can enjoy? Look no further than the sled run tucked within Blackwater Falls State Park. The longest sled run on the entire East Coast, sledders can catch speeds up to 30 miles per hour when zipping downhill. The sled run operates from late December through early March, and tickets are valid for two-hour sessions. Quickly turn your day into a stay with a room at the newly-renovated Blackwater Falls Lodge or in a personal, rustic cabin nestled in the woods.

North Pole Express

Come aboard the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad for a magical ride this holiday season. Sing Christmas carols, drink hot chocolate, eat warm cookies and milk, listen to stories and make Christmas crafts on your train ride. Stop by a live nativity stable and even meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus! Perfect for all ages, take a trip on the North Pole Express to see the spirit of Christmas come alive.

Sleigh Ride

Find yourself amid a Christmas movie scene when galloping through Almost Heaven in a horse-drawn sleigh. Bundle up in a carriage with all your loved ones at The Greenbrier Resort and witness the property’s 11,000 acres glistening with freshly fallen snow. Sleigh rides are also available at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, a hub of all the winter activities you could ever imagine. Glide on the picturesque mountaintop, letting a gorgeous trotter lead the way.

Frozen Falls

Tucked away in the mountains of West Virginia lie rugged landscapes with a multitude of cascading falls waiting to be explored. Did you know that chasing waterfalls is not a summer-only activity? Set out on the new West Virginia Waterfall Trail to discover jaw-dropping falls turned into impressive ice formations this winter. Even more exciting, register for a mobile passport and check in at participating locations to earn exclusive West Virginia Waterfall Trail gear along the way. 


Winterplace, West Virginia’s southernmost ski resort, is the perfect place for beginners who are just learning to ski as well as those looking to improve their technique. This stellar resort is home to the state’s largest tube park, three restaurants and two retail shops. Ski the night away on the weekends with nighttime skiing hours. Feel the night come alive with the adrenaline rush of zipping down 26 different slopes. After a wonderful day of tackling trails, cozy up in one of the on-property cabins, where each stay includes a free breakfast at Mountain Mama’s Cafe.

Summersville Lake State Park

West Virginia’s newest state park, Summersville Lake, is particularly popular in the summer sitting on 177 acres on the northern shore of the state’s largest lake in Nicholas County. However, this area is full of unique rock formations and its well-known crags and climbing areas continue to attract rock climbers from worldwide even in the colder months. Looking for climbing routes that aren’t covered in snow and ice? The park has that too! The lake is drained every winter, opening up beautiful sun-drenched cliff lines that are usually submerged, making amazing starts for beginners. Planning a winter event? Host it nearby while you’re here at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center.

Hatfield-McCoy Trails

Kick up the adventure this winter and go off-roading on the 1,000-plus miles that make up the Hatfield-McCoy Trail Systems. The rideable terrain varies in difficulty, making for an enjoyable trip for all first-timers as well as providing quite the test to experienced thrill-seekers. Open 365 days a year, the weather has no say over this one-of-a-kind experience. Find ATV-friendly towns, delicious restaurants and quaint lodging options dotted along the way.

Hiking within the New River Gorge

Beat the winter blues and get outside within America’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Home to more than 70,000 acres of public lands, here there’s no shortage of exceptional trails or stellar overlooks.

Smoke Hole Caverns

Explore magnificent formations made from trillions of drops of mineral-laden water that can be found on the banks of the North Fork of the South Branch River at Smoke Hole Caverns. First used by Seneca Native Americans to smoke wild game, the slow-burning wood clouds sent smoke swirling out into the valley and earned this spot the name of Smoke Hole. Witness the many rooms that made this cavern the ideal place for early settlers to make corn whiskey after the Civil War. Today the area has expanded into a resort featuring a boutique store, mini golf course, gemstone mining, fishing, on-site lodging and more.

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