Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania. He prefers a slower pace to his travels to explore destinations more in-depth and to get a feel for what life is actually like there. When he’s not writing, he’s usually off exploring trails with his fiancée, Kaitlyn.
Snowshoe Mountain is located in eastern West Virginia, about three hours east of Charleston, the capital.
A resort sits on top of the mountain that bears the same moniker. The largest resort in West Virginia serves as an excellent getaway if you’re looking to hit the slopes during the winter months.
For any skiers/snowboarders that double as trail runners, Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia is a haven for sports — snow, and dirt. The trail routes aren’t extensive, but there’s enough to keep a trail runner entertained for a long weekend.
In a hurry? Check out the trail report card.
Where to find Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia
There’s no easy way to get to Snowshoe Mountain because it’s out in the middle of nowhere. As mentioned above, it’s about a three-hour drive from Charleston, WV. On the opposite side, it’s about four and a half hours west of Washington, DC.
Here are the travel times they list on their website:
- Charlotte, NC — 6 hours
- Charlottesville, VA — 3 hours
- Columbus, OH — 5.5 hours
- Lexington, KY — 6 hours
- Pittsburgh, PA — 4 hours
- Raleigh, NC — 6.5 hours
- Roanoke, VA — 3 hours
- Richmond, VA — 4 hours
There are a total of 36 lodges available. I stayed in Powder Monkey while I visited my brother. He’s a knowledgeable skier, yet I don’t how to put on a pair of skis. So we kept to our respective activities.
Snowshoe offers more beyond skiing and trail running. Depending on the season, there are around 20 activities.
- Offroad Adventure Tours
- Snowshoe Bike Park
- Ebike Tours
- Disc Golf
- And more
- Offroad Adventure Tours
- Split Rock Pools
- And more
Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia trail options
My girlfriend and I were like two vegetables in a cookie jar. Everyone else was skiing or snowboarding, and we were trail running. At one point, while passing underneath a ski lift, a skier yelled down to us, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be skiing!”
There hadn’t been much natural snow, and we had warmer temperatures during our stay, so that meant clear trails. I was going to pick dirt over snow any day of the week.
Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia Routes
If you’re looking for various routes, here are the websites I turned to for help. These had enough to help me get started:
- Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia Resort’s Website
- Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia on AllTrails
- Snowshoe Mountain West Virginia on Hiking Project
Using the data from the above websites and Strava’s heat map data, I created my own route and then loosely followed it. Here are the details of those two runs:
- Day 1:
- 6 miles (9.6 kilometers)
- 780 feet (238 meters) of elevation gain
- Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- GPX File
- Day 2:
- 7.4 miles (12 kilometers)
- 1050 feet (320 meters) of elevation gain
- Total time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
- GPX File
Another trail runs on the opposite ridge of the resort — the Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail. I had planned to do a longer run on this trail, but I didn’t have the opportunity to. If you’re looking for a long-run type of distance, this trail will be a great option as it links into other trails — ‘6000 Steps’, ‘Bail Out,’ and ‘Fire Tower Trail.’
It was pretty warm for a late December day except for some downpours. So we were ready to take full advantage of the trails.
We went north of the resort to an area that had some short loops we could do. The resort’s trail map refers to these trails as ‘The Fingers’ and ‘Powder Puff.’
Although it’s labeled, the ‘The Fingers’ map doesn’t contain the specific trails. Yet, there are plenty that weave through the trees. These were, by far, my favorite trails during my runs there. You could get close to 10 kilometers by winding your way around this area, with little overlap.
The aesthetics of the trails varied as well.
In ‘The Fingers,’ it’s about 80% single-track dirt/pine needle path zigzagged through the trees. These trails were a joy to run on as it felt like running on a set of pillows. Also, green moss grew on each side of the track, creating a serene setting to be running in.
When you break out of the wooded area that makes up ‘The Fingers,’ the trail will usually widen to a path that’s large enough for an ATV to drive on. Many of the trails in this area double as biking trails during the warmer months.
For the time we went, the trails were not crowded. And, by that, I mean, we didn’t see a single other person on the trails. They were quiet, and we had our pick of which path we wanted to take with no disturbances. We were only close to people when the trail crossed one of the slopes.
As far as I can tell, dogs are allowed on the trails. I saw one couple nearby the trails with a dog, and there were occasional bins dispensing trash bags for nature’s call.
Lastly, if you’re navigationally challenged, fret not. The trails are clear and easy to follow. Your only chance of getting lost is by going off-trail and straying too far from the laughing of the skiers and snowboarders.
Snowshoe Mountain is a perfect getaway for a long weekend, and its trails serve to make it even more enjoyable. While the trails are somewhat limited, there’s enough there to keep anyone occupied for a couple of days by mixing and matching various loops.
If you’ve been to Snowshoe Mountain, let me know your experience in the comments. If you ran the trails, even better, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’re headed to Maryland, be sure to check out the Bacon Ridge Trail near Annapolis for some excellent hiking/running!