Did you know there are three ski resorts in the High Country? And a snow tubing park! All season long, they supplement natural snowfall and maintain awesome conditions for your enjoyment. Local slopes are opening very soon, and the season generally runs through Mid- March. When there’s a natural snowfall, Blowing Rock is an excellent location for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
A note about the 2020-2021 Ski Season:
Hitting the slopes is a great way to enjoy the wide-open space of the outdoors! You can be assured of our nearby resorts’ dedication to keeping guests safe this season, as they implement new updated procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and follow industry best practices with Ski Well, Be Well. North Carolina ski industry leaders from all six NC resorts established these foundational best practices according to scientific guidelines put forth by infectious disease experts, including the CDC and WHO. North Carolina ski areas will comply with additional federal, state and local regulations as they are implemented. Be sure to check on individual policies, such as face covering requirements and food service availability, before visiting any location.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Blowing Rock is home to Appalachian Ski Mountain, which has been welcoming skiers and snow lovers for over 50 years. The mountain features 12 slopes, 3 freestyle terrain areas, and six lifts, as well as an outdoor ice skating rink. Night skiing and snowboarding is made possible with lights on all slopes. Natural snow is can be infrequent, so App Ski has advanced snowmaking capabilities across 100% of the terrain. This means great skiing and snowboarding in any corner of the resort throughout the season. Rentals are available for all equipment and even clothing. The terrain parks are gaining a lot of attention from slope thrill-seekers, with constantly changing layouts and a wide variety of features. The New Year’s Eve Celebration is especially exciting, with torchlight skiing, moonlight ice skating, and fireworks. In 2020, the resort has implemented several measures to keep guests safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Enhanced health and safety measures are in place in every part of their operation. Online reservations are required for activities at Appalachian Ski Mtn for the 2020-2021 season.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is also home to the French-Swiss Ski College, where lessons are offered for all skill levels. Reasonably priced group instruction is available, with never more than 10 students per instructor. Private lessons are available, too. The school has taught over 1 million people to ski and snowboard! If you’d like to learn the sport, or just brush up on rusty skills, French-Swiss is ready to help. Appalachian Ski Mountain is the place to learn to ski or ride!
Also nearby is Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk. About 40 minutes from Blowing Rock, the slopes at Sugar offers 21 slopes, including the area’s only double-black-diamond run, Whoopdeedoo. Also unique to Sugar Mountain is snowshoeing, available several times a week with instructors. The tours take participants into the less-often seen terrain on Sugar Mountain. The mountain also features tubing and ice skating. Like all of NC’s ski resorts, Sugar Mountain is following the best practices of the NC Ski Area’s Association’s Ski Well, Be Well statement.
Beech Mountain Resort
Beech Mountain Resort is about 30 miles from Blowing Rock. The mountain is the highest ski resort in Eastern North America, at 5506 ft. above sea level. Ski Beech also features the only high-speed quad lift in North Carolina with a panoramic vista. You won’t believe the views at Ski Beech! The resort has two different terrain parks, and one is kept especially for beginners, while the other is open to advanced enthusiasts. Don’t miss special brews by Beech Mountain Brewing Company. Beech Mountain Resort has prepared thorough operational plans that put safety first, are consistent with all local regulations, and follow the North Carolina Ski Area Association’s Ski Well, Be Well best practices.
Hawksnest Tubing is the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast! The park is a 30-40 minute drive from Blowing Rock. With 30 lanes of snow tubing that span from 400 to 1,000 feet long, Hawksnest Tubing is a fun family destination. Their snowmaking facilities are able to provide the best possible conditions, so as soon as it’s cold enough to make snow, the park is able to open. They have lighting and snowmaking on all lanes, so the fun can continue into the night. And, the lanes are groomed for a smooth, safe ride. Tubing sessions at the park are set with time slots, so you don’t have to worry about crowds. Time slots often sell out, so book in advance.
And, for cross-country skiing enthusiasts, Blowing Rock is an excellent location when the High Country receives significant natural snowfall. The Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park offer 25 miles of wide, well-maintained trails in all seasons. When it snows, they are perfect for cross country skiing or snowshoeing! Access is easy, too. Just a mile from Main Street, the loop around Bass Lake is an excellent starting point, and a road-side gravel lot is available for parking. For some great information on cross-country skiing in the High Country, including where to find rentals, click to this article from Get Going NC.
For more, watch this fun video about Winter Sports in the NC High Country: