Are you looking to escape the bustling crowds around West Virginia’s ski slopes this weekend? Discover backcounty touring. Whether it’s cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking; venture off the beaten path and find an appeal not found in your typical winter resort package.
Trails along Cheat Mountain are a great place to start your backcountry tour. It’s like exploring an alpine wonderland. Several trail-heads are accessible from Snowshoe Resort. Snowshoe is known for the best downhill skiing and mountain-biking in the mid-Atlantic, but many folks aren’t aware of the alpine touring beginning at Snowshoe’s 11,000 acre resort and continuing for miles into the Monongahela National Forest.

[pullquote align=”center”]Cheat Mountain is one of the largest and most rugged mountains in the Alleghenies. It runs approximately 50 miles from Snowshoe Resort to Parsons, West Virginia.[/pullquote]

Cheat Mountain Trail begins at the southernmost point of Snowshoe resort. Start your escapade along this trail at Thorny Flat. It’s the second highest point in West Virginia and offers spectacular views. Looking south you can see the expansive Greenbrier River Valley. The trail eventually converges with Back Allegheny Mountain.
[pullquote align=”center”]Back Allegheny Mountain and Cheat Mountain converge to create a bowl for the headwaters of Shavers Fork – one of the longest tributaries of Cheat River.[/pullquote]

From the Cheat Mountain Trail you’ll follow Back Allegheny Mountain until you skirt the eastern side of the ski resort heading north toward the Monongahela National Forest. Trails eventually reconnect with Cheat Mountain and meander for miles onward. Check-out the US Forest ServiceMidAtlanticHikes.com, and Snowshoe’s back country map for more resources on backcountry hiking in this area.

Exploring remote areas like the abandoned logging village of Old Spruce provide an opportunity to find solace as well as piece of history. With a good map and plenty of water you can link-up with rail lines operated by Highland Adventures. Day-hike to the Cheat Salamander rail line, or catch the Cass Scenic Railway at Whittaker Station atop Bald Knob. Longer treks can be done with shuttles at US Rt. 250 and beyond. Opportunities are endless in these backcounty areas.

Find piece of mind in the backcounty. Get off the beaten path, get some exercise, find your adventure, and explore those areas that connect you with the Appalachia experience.

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Cross country skiing on the Cheat Mountain Trail

Cross country skiing on the Cheat Mountain Trail

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Trail marker on the Cheat Mountain Trail

Trail marker on the Cheat Mountain Trail

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Shavers Lake at the bottom of Snowshoe Ski Resort

Shavers Lake at the bottom of Snowshoe Ski Resort

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Trail marker on the Cheat Mountain Trail

Trail marker on the Cheat Mountain Trail

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Sunrise Backcountry Hut

Sunrise Backcountry Hut

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Cross Country Skiing on the Cheat Mountain Trail

Cross Country Skiing on the Cheat Mountain Trail

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