I have been skiing every winter for the past 15 years. My favorite place in America is and will always be Colorado, as I have a special place in my heart for Aspen and Winter Park. However, living and working in Washington doesn’t make it easy to fly there, and due to distance you can’t just pop in for the weekend. So, if you are visiting DC or living in the city now, here are my top three resorts for skiing near DC, VA, & MD.
Liberty Mountain Resort
Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, is the most convenient resort for Washingtonians, just an hour from the Beltway. Many of my friends have swung by after work to get in a little skiing under the stars – you can leave work at 4 and be on the slopes for the 5-to-10-pm ticket. The snow can be good enough (although sometimes icy). If you like moguls, they have trails with bumps. I want to improve my ski bump skills, and I thought the mogul runs were great for some exercise and improvement. I had a few wipeouts at Liberty, so they definitely have some difficult and challenging terrain.
Whitetail Mountain Resort
Whitetail Resort, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania is 1½ hours from Washington, is bigger than Liberty. You can get there easily on a Saturday morning for a day of skiing. I think it is one of the most decent resorts in the immediate area. It is also quite scenic. It can get crowded really fast and the cafeteria is very disorganized, being used also as a “locker room”. The high speed lifts make it possible to get in lots of runs — plus – – they have a cool thing that nobody else around has … “valet parking”! It costs extra of course — but a cool way to pamper yourself.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
The region’s largest ski resort is also the farthest from Washington at 4½ hours. However, it is totally worth it to go for a weekend getaway. With 57 trails, Snowshoe is not only the largest ski resort in the region; it also has the highest vertical drop (1,500 feet) and the most natural snow (an average of 180 inches annually), although all 251 acres are covered by snow-making if necessary.
Although ski season is almost done, March can be quite unpredictable and grant the ski lovers some more natural white stuff. And keep your eyes wide open as you might run into some of the power-players of the White House Administration on the slopes.