The White Grass Touring Center (800-248-2519, 304-866-4114, www.whitegrass.com) is in the Canaan Valley (pronounced Ka-nane) and High Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia. It is a one-of-a-kind place to xc ski that gets 150 inches annually. This is a Mid Atlantic xc skier's mecca for good karma and if you don't believe it, check out the "Backscatter" referrals at Feedback.
The White Grass Web site is a popular stop and it's freshened up every day with daily updates almost all year long.
There's 50 km of trails that are groomed or maintained at White Grass. The trails range from 3,200 to 4,400 feet in elevation. The area has 1,200 vertical feet and slopes and glades for telemark skiers, too.
White Grass was originally built as an alpine ski area in 1959 and has been doing xc skiing since 1979 (that makes it one of the oldest xc ski areas in the US).. In 2003, White Grass was named the W. VA Environmental Council's Green Entrepreneur Award because of how sustainable the operation is run. The 5 km of snow fence that captures greater amounts of snow that are shoveled to patch low areas is typical. They call it "snow farming."
The White Grass trail use fee is $12 and $3 for kids. Lessons are available in a group $15 for 1.5 hours or in a mini lesson for only $6. XC Skating or telemark ski lessons are $25. Rental equipment is available for $12 weekday or $15 weekend, kids $5, skating $20, pulk sled $10, telemark/backcountry $28, and snowshoes are $12. Guided tours to the high country are available and there is a full retail ski shop on location with new, upgrade trades, and used gear.
Enjoy White Grass Cafe & Catering for homecooked lunches specializing in natural food cuisine with vegetarian soups and sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and pies. Dinner specialties by reservation on Friday and Saturday nights.
Also two cookbooks are available including the White Grass Flavor and the Cross Country Cooking (order on the White Grass Web site). There is live music on the weekends and White Grass prides itself by the great range of tunes heard at the area. For some exciting runs at White Grass check out Yitzhak Ravine, Boutros-Boutros Gully, and Badly Glades.
Lodging list of B & B inns, condos, and hotels are available on the White Grass Web site. There are about 100 km of xc ski trails in the local region at places such as Canaan Valley State Park, the Mongongahela National Forest including high windblown plains of the Dolly Sods Wilderness area, and the Blackwater Falls State Park.
Directions: From altimore/Washington DC take I-70 W, I-68W to Rte 219 S though Oakland, MD to Rt 32 S and Canaan Valley. From Pittsburgh take I-79, I-68 E to Rt 42 S to Rt 219 S and Rt 32 S.. From N. VA take I-66 to I-81 to Rt 55W at Harman and Rt 32N to Canaan Valley. From Ohio take I-70 E to I-79 S to Morgantown and I-68 E to Rt 42 S to Rt 219 S and Rt 32 S. CCSAA member.