Temperatures fall, and resorts beckon with winter sports

Mountains have it all, from skiing to fine dining

Outside: sports, activities, events

January 01, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

During December's unseasonably warm weeks, athletes all around Baltimore reveled outdoors amid sunshine and balmy temperatures.

And now that the extended Indian Summer has finally come to an end, many winter sports enthusiasts are heading afield to the region's white-capped mountains.

But local skiers aren't the only folks testing out the season's first natural or manmade snow.

Lodge operators have acknowledged in recent years that some cold-weather fans just don't have the patience to learn the art of skiing.

That realization has brought less-strenuous activities into the winter-sports realm, and many nearby mountain resorts now offer snow tubing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and other less physically challenging outdoor activities for people of all ages, abilities and interests.

So get out there and enjoy the outdoors -- there's something for everyone in the Mid-Atlantic's wild country.

The following is the LIVE guide to what's going on at 19 resorts and locations.

(Call ahead for travel and weather advisories before visiting any of the spots.)

MARYLAND

Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort

296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry

Located 200 miles from Baltimore, Wisp is situated in the Allegheny Mountain range and is Maryland's only ski resort.

The Garrett County site has 100 acres of skiable land and offers more than 20 slopes and trails, two terrain parks and the Savage Super Pipe. For nonskiers, there is a snow-tubing park and snowshoe and snow-bike rentals. A spa, food court, snowmobiling, ice-skating, sleigh rides and restaurants round out the Wisp experience.

For more information, call 301-387-4911 or visit www.skiwisp.com.

PENNSYLVANIA

Blue Knob All Seasons Resort

1418 Overland Pass, Claysburg

This resort has 34 trails, snow-tubing and cross-country skiing areas. Located about three hours from Baltimore, the slopes are geared toward the experienced skier, with only one-fifth of the areas designated for beginners. Restaurants and a pub are on the premises.

For more information, call 800-458-3403 or visit www.blueknob.com.

Eagle Rock Resort

1060 Valley of Lakes, Hazleton

Skiing and snowboarding are regular winter activities at this four-season resort. Three snow-tubing chutes are open.

A fitness center and spa are available for those who'd rather relax than hit the slopes.

For more information, call 570-384-3223 or visit www.eglrock.com.

Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort

1 Craighead Drive, Hidden Valley

In addition to downhill skiing, this resort also offers activities in the new Hidden Valley Outback Park, an area where snowshoeing, snow tubing, cross-country skiing trails and horse-drawn sleigh rides are available.

A gift shop, restaurants and cafes are also open.

For more information, call 800-443-7544 or visit www.hiddenvalleyresort.com.

Liberty Mountain Resort and Conference Center

78 Country Club Trail, Carroll Valley

The resort, known as Ski Liberty to many, features a slope-side hotel, snow-tubing, a terrain park and a tavern with live music. This Southern Pennsylvania spot offers more than 15 trails, some of which are geared toward the beginner skier.

For more information, call 717-642-8282 or visit www.skiliberty.com.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

777 Waterwheel Drive, Champion

Skiing is just one of the activities available at this location. Snowmobiling, snow tubing, snowshoeing and mountain tours aboard a snow grooming machine are among the activities to keep winter athletes busy.

There is both casual and fine dining.

For more information, call 800-452-2223 or visit www.7springs.com.

Ski Denton

Route 6, Coudersport

Located in Northern Pennsylvania, this ski area is between four and five hours from Baltimore and about 20 miles from the New York state border. The spot features a lighted snowboard park and trails for all abilities.

A cafeteria is on-site.

For more information, call 814-435-2115 or visit www.skidenton.com.

Ski Roundtop

925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry

Ski Roundtop has more than 15 trails of varying difficulty. A super pipe and terrain park are open to both skiers and snowboarders and a food court and coffee shop are on-site.

For more information, call 717-432-9631 or visit www.ski roundtop.com.

Ski Sawmill Family Resort

383 Oregon Hill Road, Morris

Open since the late 1960s, Ski Sawmill has been attracting skiers to Central Pennsylvania for decades.

Now under new management, the resort has more than a dozen slopes, new lighting, a terrain park, snow tubing and a half pipe that keeps the resort in line with sporting trends.

There is a cafeteria in the lodge.

For more information, call 800-532-SNOW or visit www.skisawmill.com.

Tussey Mountain Winter Resort

301 Bear Meadow Road, Boalsburg

In addition to seven trails for skiing, this Central Pennsylvania location offers snow tubing and snowboarding.

Both a cafe and restaurant offer post-workout meals.

For more information, call 800-733-2754 or visit www.tusseymountain.com.

Whitetail Mountain Resort

13805 Blairs Valley Road, Mercersburg

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