Freestyle Mountain Adventures
Deep snow. Icy conditions. Winter storm. All these alerts that bring anxiety to everyday commuters and civil authorities can bring joy and excitement to those heading to the slopes for some winter adventure. Anyone who desires to speed down an icy white slope has a bit of daredevil in them. Beyond that, it takes an extra ounce of extreme attitude to barrel through a freestyle terrain park on a snowboard or pair of skis. Following the growing popularity of the X Games and other extreme winter sports, resorts along the east coast are opening up and expanding freestyle terrain parks where skiers and snowboarders can fly down a mountain by way of jibs, rails, bonks and boxes.
As terrain parks become more popular, resorts are finding ways to make them accessible and enjoyable for all ages and skill levels. Well designed parks have areas specifically designed for beginners to learn and practice their skills without interfering with more experienced riders going at faster speeds. These allow riders to start off slow and then progress at their own rate to safely enjoy the all the features available in the park.
Over the past decade, winter resorts have added terrain parks as a way to appeal to both traditional skiers and those who want to experience the thrill of performing jumps and tricks and going airborne. Many resorts in the Southeast have some type of terrain park. While some are new and just beginning to take off, others are of a size and contain features that rival the big parks and resorts in the West.
Appalachian Ski Mountain at Blowing Rock, North Carolina
"The App" is the largest terrain park in the east and has become a well-known destination that brings in riders from all over the country for some of its competitions. The App has three terrain parks to offer riders of all ages and skill their own place to practice their moves. Appalachian Ski Mountain is home to a Burton Progressive Park. This is a specially designed park that enables beginners to go through the course slowly and to see and practice how each feature works. www.appskimtn.com
Snowshoe West Virginia
Snowshoe has three terrain parks covering 22 acres for freestyle skiing and riding. Robinson's Run at Silver Creek is an entire area devoted to beginners and those working to improve their skiing and riding skills. Snowshoe also offers two other parks with more advanced features. www.snowshoemtn.com
Ober Gatlinburg Tennesee
Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain Park opened last year and has doubled the amount of features for the current season. www.obergatlinburg.com
Cataloochee Ski Area at Maggie Valley, NC
The Cat Cage Terrain is a freestyle park for skiers and riders.
Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain, NC
Beech Mountain has two terrain parks. Powderbowl Terrain Park opened in 2009 and filled with features for more advanced riders. Meadows Terrain Park is dedicated to beginners. www.skibeech.com
Sugar Mountain, NC
One freestyle terrain park for skiers and riders. www.skisugar.com
Winterplace Resort, WV
Winterplace opened a new terrain park this season. Hickory is a larger park with more features. Panorama is the smaller park. www.winterplace.com
Massanutten Resort, VA
CMB Terrain Park has its own lift and is open to skis, snow boards and snowblades. Easy Street has smaller features for beginners. www.massresort.com
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