Cross-Country Ski Trails

Are you ready to glide into a winter adventure? A popular sport during this season is cross-country skiing. Some of the best trails and slopes an adventure-seeker can find are in the southern mountains of West Virginia.

As weather permits, miles of dirt or gravel can be turned into a snow-covered paradise. Some of these trails, such as the Greenbrier River Trail, take you into the great outdoors and allow you to enjoy more than 70 miles of natural scenery. You will also find guides and outfitters that will make your trip a fun learning experience.

If you are ready to experience a scenic winter wonderland, here are the top places to explore on your skis:

Babcock State Park

Babcock State Park offers several paved roads for cross-country skiers! During the winter time, though some parts of the park are closed, you can find accessible, unplowed roads that are open for skiing (as long as you bring the skis with you). Some major sights for you to travel to are the Glade Creek Grist Mill, Boley Lake, and the scenic overlooks. However, if you want to plan your own adventure, a map of this 4,127 acred park can be viewed here.

Cranberry Tri-Rivers Trail

Named for the Cranberry, Cherry and Gauley Rivers the railway used to run along, the Cranberry Tri-Rivers Rail-Trail begins in downtown Richwood and takes you through the 640-foot Sarah’s Tunnel. If you plan to visit Nicholas County for cross-country skiing, you might want to prepare for some snow. Weather reports in the area show snowfall is more than 50 inches each year on average, which is 25 inches higher than average US city receives!

Greenbrier River Trail

One of the longest and most gorgeous trails in Southern West Virginia is the historical Greenbrier River Trail. There are many things to see along this 78-mile stretch, from bridges to old railway tunnels. Plus, if you get tired from the trail length, you can take a break in one of the towns along the way, like  Marlinton or Caldwell.

*A small section of the Greenbrier River Trail was recently washed out, but volunteers are working to restore it.

Rend Trail

The Rend Trail is a wide, smooth trail that offers breathtaking views of the New River and numerous bridges to cross. The trail follows the old Arbuckle Branch railroad corridor to the abandoned railroad town of Thurmond. One of the bridges in the center of the trail has suffered structural damage, so that portion is closed for repair. However, both sides are still open. Although it was already one of the shortest trails in Southern West Virginia, you can still ski more than a mile of trail on each end.

Southside Trail (Brooklyn-Southside Junction Trail)

Following the New River is the Brooklyn to Southside Junction route, which was formerly one of the most important transportation corridors to haul coal. Running only 100 yards away from the New River, the 6-mile trail will bring you up close and personal to the bank’s amazing natural landscapes.

*Call ahead about snow conditions. Some of the trails are rough and only a good run with a solid pack of snow!

Where’s your favorite cross-country ski trail?