What: What to do besides Ski North Carolina
Where: Appalachian Ski Mtn., Sugar Mtn., Beech Mtn. and Hawknest
When: November – March
Cost: Costs vary by location and activity. See each activity for a range.
If you’d rather ski, here is a post on Family Ski Deals.
Most people that come to North Carolina ski country come to do just that, ski North Carolina. However, even if you don’t enjoy racing down the slopes, there is a lot of wintertime fun in the High Country. Choose from ice skating, tubing, sledding, snowshoeing and even zip lining. Here’s your guide to what to do besides Ski North Carolina.
Ice skating is offered at all three High Country ski resorts (App Ski Mtn., Sugar Mtn. and Beech Mtn.) The most picturesque is Sugar Mountain’s ice rink. White lights and a beautiful mountain view make it a winner. Across the parking lot is the tubing hill, so there is more than one activity within a short distance as well. App Ski Mtn. ice rink is the only rink maintained with a Zamboni. They also have a fire pit rink side for chilly nights. They don’t offer s’mores, but you are welcome to bring the fixings from home. Beech Mountain’s ice rink is located within the Alpine Village of shops, and restaurants, plus there is a large fire pit next to the rink to warm up after skating. Cost: $14 – $15
Beech Mountain Free Sledding Hill
The Town of Beech Mountain Free Sledding Hill is for kids 12 and under. This is a great place to experience some wintertime fun and give your wallet a rest. Next to the sledding hill is the Visitor’s Center where you can rent sleds or visit the warm bathrooms. If you’d rather buy a sled, Fred’s Mercantile, just a short walk up the street sells sleds. Across from the sledding hill is the Brick Oven Pizzeria, a perfect place to grab a family lunch or dinner and warm up after sledding. Cost: FREE!
If you’re looking for something a little taller and longer than the Beech Mountain Free Sledding Hill, try Snow Tubing. Sugar Mountain offers four 700 ft. groomed lanes with a magic carpet to get you back to the top. Sugar also has lights for night tubing. For more runs, visit nearby Hawksnest, which bills itself as the largest snow tubing park on the east coast and offers 20 lanes from 400 – 1000 ft. in length. Cost: $25 – $30
Hawksnest also offers zip lining over the snow covered tube lanes. Hawksnest has 20 cables with heights over 200 feet off the ground. Zip lining in wintertime is a whole different experience than summer. For one thing, the bare trees make it easy to see for miles. Cost: $45 – $130
The Beech Mountain Recreation Center rents snowshoes for visitors to hike the 30 miles of town-maintained trails that range from easy to moderate to strenuous. Rentals are available hourly, half day or full day. There is also an option to book a guided snowshoe excursion. Sugar Mountain offers one hour guided snowshoe tours for adults and kids. Snowshoe tours are offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Cost: $5 – $70.