White Grass Ski Touring Center is on the southern end of Canaan Valley near Davis, WV. It has 18 miles of trails, ranging from beginner, with flat stretches and small hills, to advanced, with tight and steep paths that wind through the wooded hillsides. Many of the trails are dotted with rustic shelters, which adds to the ambiance. Some routes run through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge and others connect to the Monongahela National Forest Wilderness trails, making it great fun for backcountry enthusiasts.
The White Grass website features a “Daily Report” with information about current trail conditions.
While there is no snowmaking at White Grass, there is “snowfarming,” a technique that uses specially made snow fences to "collect" blowing snow into huge drifts. This snow is then spread across the groomed trails, keeping them covered with soft, natural snow ensuring a smooth ride for all skiers.
What Makes It Great
White Grass gives off a homey, comfortable vibe, and once you get to know the people who work there, you’ll feel like a weekend ski trip is also a trip to visit old friends. When the snow falls, the skiing and snowshoeing at White Grass can’t be beat, and cross-country skiers at all levels will enjoy themselves.
A good place to start your day is the Three Mile Trail. It begins at the day lodge with a short, flat section that leads to gradual switchbacks up a mountainside before leveling off again near the top of the mountain, at almost 4,000 feet. The top section has spectacular views of the valley below and takes you through a beautiful evergreen forest.
Classic cross-country skiing is more popular here than skate skiing, but you can skate ski on the wider trails, and White Grass rents out the gear for it. You can also rent backcountry and telemark ski gear. So you have no excuse for not getting out there and trying something new!
Snow, a fun trail system, and friendly folks aren’t the only things that draw people here—there’s also the food. After a ski or snowshoe adventure, grab a delicious meal or snack inside the small day lodge at the White Grass Café. During the winter, enjoy live music on the weekends.
Who is Going to Love It
White Grass’s rustic and homey charm will appeal to families with children of all ages. Because of the beginner trail options, it's also a good place for people who want to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for the first time. That being said, because of the easy access to the Monongahela National Forest, it’s also a great spot for experienced skiers looking to get into the backcountry.
If you want to snowshoe, follow alongside the ski trails or the designated snowshoe trails.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Before hitting the trails, pay for your day pass and get your trail map in the lodge, where you can also get season passes and gear rentals. Parking is free in the gravel, usually snow-covered lot next to the lodge.
In addition to classic, skate, backcountry and telemark skis, and snowshoes, you can rent pull-behind sleds for the youngest members in your crew. Be sure to bundle them up, because the wind can be strong in the open field trails, and it gets a lot colder once you begin to gain elevation.
Finally, make sure you have a trail map handy, and stay on marked trails unless you're planning to explore the backcountry, in which case be sure to pack a map, compass, food, and water.
White Grass is open from 9am until dark 7 days a week from December through March.