Take I-495 south toward Northern Virginia, then I-66 west to I-81 south near Strasburg, Va. Follow I-81 south to the exit for Route 55 west. Stay on Route 55 west through Moorefield, through Petersburg, and on to Harman. Upon entering Harman, take Route 32 north to reach Dryfork, Davis, Thomas and the Canaan Valley area.
Where to Play
Blackwater Falls State Park, www.blackwaterfalls.com. Cross-country/backcountry skiing, sledding, hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, camping and cabin rentals.
Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center State Park, 230 Main Lodge Road, Davis; 800-622-4121 or 304-866-4121; canaanresort.com. Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, air-boarding, ice skating, golf, hiking, biking, geocaching, paintball, dining and lodging.
Monongahela National Forest (which contains Dolly Sods Wilderness and Otter Creek Wilderness), www.fs.usda.gov. See the Canaan Valley Adventure Map, available at stores, parks and other locations throughout the valley, for trails.
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 6263 Appalachian Highway, Davis; 304-866-3858; www.fws.gov/canaanvalley. Bird-watching and wildlife trails.
Timberline Four Seasons Resort, 254 Four Seasons Drive, Davis; 800-766-9464 (800-SNOWING); www.timberlineresort.com. Downhill and telemark skiing (elevation 4,268 feet), ski school, mountain biking and lodging.
White Grass Ski Touring Center, 643 Weiss Knob Ski Road, Davis; 304-866-4114; www.whitegrass.com. Cross-country, backcountry, telemark and skate skiing, snowshoeing, lessons and rentals..
In addition to the activities listed, outdoor enthusiasts can find opportunities nearby for rock climbing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking.
Where to Eat, Stay and Shop
Bright Morning Inn, Davis; 304-259-5119; brightmorninginn.com. An old lumberjack boardinghouse and saloon built in 1896, the inn offers a family suite, plus seven other rooms, each with private bathrooms, for $95-$149 a night. There’s also a guesthouse that sleeps 10, available both nightly and weekly. Pets are an additional fee. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast; guests get a country breakfast as part of their stay.
Cabins at Cherry Ridge, Dryfork; 304-866-3497; www.mountaingetawaywv.com. Rent a small “Sweet Little Cabin” with one bedroom plus a loft ($160-$180 a night) or the larger three-bedroom “Chalet-Style Guest House” ($180-$200 a night).
Hellbender Burritos, William Avenue, Davis; www.hellbenderburritos.com. A hole-in-the-wall that serves a homemade green chili for $3-$5, oversized burritos for $6-$10 and a kids’ menu in downtown Davis.
MountainMade Artisan Gallery, 242 East Ave., Thomas; 877-686-6233; www.mountainmade.com. Sells everything from woodwork to ceramics to handcrafted children’s toys.
Sirianni’s Pizza, William Avenue, Davis; 304-259-5454. The best (and only) pizza in the Canaan Valley. Always popular after a day of adventure; plan for an hour wait.
The Purple Fiddle, 21 East Ave., Thomas; 304-463-4040, www.purplefiddle.com. For a light lunch or dinner over music. Lodging is available at the adjacent Fiddler’s Roost, a turn-of-the-century coal company duplex turned guesthouse.
Timberline Four Seasons Resort, 254 Four Seasons Drive, Davis; 800-766-9464 (800-SNOWING); www.timberlineresort.com. Offers lodging and activities ranging from horseback riding to whitewater rafting to mini golf, as well as seasonal events such as a Hunters Special Week Nov. 12-21 and a Timberline Family Thanksgiving Special Weekend Nov. 22-25.
TipTop Wine Bar and Coffee Shop, 216 East Ave., Thomas; www.facebook.com/TipTopThomas. Serves coffee, drinks and casual fare made with locally sourced ingredients.
White Grass Café, 643 Weiss Knob Ski Road, Davis; 304-866-4114; www.white grass.com/cafe.html. Serves lunch and offers two coveted dinnertime seatings, at 6 and 8 p.m., by reservation only. Live music.
Sue Eisenfeld is a writer, editor and consultant in Arlington, Va., who enjoys the rare winter when a good cross-country ski on a nearby bike path is possible.