Blog Seasonal Sports Discover Winter Sports in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

Discover Winter Sports in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

Updated: 01/15/2024 • Bernie Gilchrist

Seasonal Sports

Embark on a journey with me as we unveil the enchanting winter wonderland concealed within the embrace of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In this picturesque haven, the Blue Ridge Mountains transform into a four-season paradise, each unveiling its unique allure and an array of delightful activities. As winter descends, the landscape undergoes a magical transformation, inviting families to partake in adventures conveniently close by. Let me share with you some of my favorite winter playgrounds right outside my front door.

Highlands Outpost-

Our first stop is Scaly Mountain, where the joy of winter takes the form of ice skating and snow tubing. Picture yourself on their brand-new ice rink, a winter haven open from Thanksgiving to March 1st. Weather-dependent, it's always wise to check ahead on their website or give them a call. 

For an exhilarating experience, hop onto a tube and ride the Magic Carpet lift to the summit before descending with laughter and screams! Snow tubing, a tradition born in the Alps, finds its unique rendition at our Highlands Outpost. Join in this wild adventure that promises unforgettable thrills, even when Mother Nature hesitates to provide the perfect snowfall. Highlands Outpost’s state-of-the-art snow-making equipment ensures there's always enough for a great time. Bundle up in warm clothes; those toes and fingers can get chilly fast!

Here are some essential details:

Tubers must be 42 inches or taller and at least 4 years old.

For our younger tubers (8 years and under), we offer Kids Snow Play.

Exciting group rates are available for parties of 20 or more.

Join the folks at Highlands Outpost in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where winter isn't just a season; it's a magical experience waiting to be explored. Let the adventures begin!

The Original- Maggie Valley, NC-

Venture a little further into the winter wonderland, and you'll stumble upon another hidden gem in Maggie Valley, NC – Tube World. Located at 4721 Soco Rd, this tubing haven stands apart from the ski area, offering an extraordinary experience for the whole family.

Tube World boasts a meticulously maintained slope, crafted to ensure the safe enjoyment of their specially designed commercial inner tubes. Ascend the slope swiftly with the assistance of a conveyor lift, ensuring you and your tube reach your destination with exhilarating speed.

For the little ones who haven't quite reached the 42-inch height requirement, fear not! They have created a special area called the 'Wee Bowl,' where these pint-sized adventurers can revel in the joy of snow and play with their own inner tubes.

If you're seeking uncomplicated and delightful fun, Tube World is your go-to destination. Reserve your sessions online, allowing you to plan your snowy escapade up to two weeks in advance. Before purchasing, be sure to check the date and ticket type, ensuring a seamless experience.

To the Ranch-

Now, let's delve into the heart of winter adventure at Cataloochee Ski Area, a historic destination located at 1080 Ski Lodge Road in Maggie Valley. This haven of snow-filled delights holds the distinction of being the first ski area in the state of North Carolina. The tale of its inception is woven into the fabric of local history, dating back to 1961 when Tom Alexander, with a visionary spirit, founded the ski area as a means to provide winter employment for the local ranch hands.

What started as an exploration soon transformed into a comprehensive winter wonderland. Today, Cataloochee Ski Area extends far beyond its humble beginnings, offering an array of amenities that elevate your snowy experience. Imagine indulging in cafeteria-style dining, sipping on warm beverages, and exploring a full-service rental department for all your skiing needs. The Ski Center awaits to guide both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike, ensuring everyone finds their rhythm on the slopes.

But the adventure doesn't stop there. An on-site gift and gear shop beckons, inviting you to discover treasures and essentials for your mountain escapade. For your convenience, individual lockers are available for rent, providing a secure space to store your belongings. And fear not the trek from the parking lot, for a remote shuttle service awaits to whisk you away effortlessly.

As you carve your way through the snowy expanse, enjoy the added convenience of complimentary Wi-Fi, allowing you to share your mountain moments with the world.

So, whether you're a seasoned skier or a snow enthusiast taking your first plunge into winter sports, Cataloochee Ski Area stands as a testament to the enduring magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its rich history and modern amenities, this winter paradise invites you to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Sapphire Valley-

As the New Year unfolds, let the snowy adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains continue, and what better way to kick off the year than exploring Sapphire Valley!

Amidst the mountainous embrace, Ski Sapphire Valley emerges as a haven for creating cherished family memories. Picture yourself gliding down the slopes, whether on skis, a snowboard, or a tube, as the winter magic takes center stage at Ski Sapphire. 

For families with little ones eager to learn the art of skiing or snowboarding, Ski Sapphire Valley is the ideal destination. The ski area is designed with accessibility in mind – everything is close by and easily reached from the parking areas. A dedicated learning slope awaits, complete with an easy ride 'moving carpet' lift and ample space for practice. It's the perfect opportunity for those who've dreamt of experiencing winter sports in one of the southernmost winter sports areas in the US. Ski Sapphire Valley, first opened in 1964, has been weaving family memories for generations.

And if you're seeking the exhilaration of tubing, look no further than the Frozen Falls Tube Park. With a 500-foot run and a vertical drop of 60 feet, this tube park promises thrills for the entire family. Attendants and a convenient 'moving sidewalk' effortlessly transport you and your tube to the top, ready for a delightful descent.

Do note that tubing sessions are in high demand, lasting 1.75 hours, and they tend to sell out quickly. To secure your spot, arrive early and immerse yourself in the snowy splendor of Ski Sapphire Valley. 

End of the Run-

In this Southernmost embrace of the Blue Ridge Mountains, winter isn't merely a season; it's a whimsical adventure waiting to be explored. Whether you find yourself gliding down a slope, giggling on a tube, or simply sipping hot cocoa by the fire, let the spirit of these mountains infuse your days with joy and wonder. 

And so, as we bid adieu to this enchanting journey through the winter wonderland of the Blue Ridge Mountains, let our hearts be filled with the echoes of laughter on the slopes, the crisp mountain air, and the joyous moments shared with loved ones.

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