Skip the slopes and head to these cold-weather sporting destinations.
With cold temperatures come snow skis and snowboards, but winter action is not limited to the slopes. The Southeast offers a variety of ways to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, even when the mercury dips down into the single digits. Check out these outstanding winter sporting adventures, and start planning your visit today.
Located on the rim of the New River Gorge in southeastern West Virginia, Adventures on the Gorge features a variety of attractions sure to get your blood pumping and the adrenaline rushing. At the top of the list is the TreeTops Canopy Tour, a 3.5-hour journey through a forest of hemlock and hardwoods in Mill Creek Canyon featuring 10 ziplines, five sky bridges, one rappel and three short hikes.
If flying through the air doesn't offer a unique enough perspective, then sign up for the New River Gorge Bridge Walk. The unique trek takes you along the 24-inch-wide catwalk beneath the New River Gorge Bridge, providing a bird's-eye view of the river 850 feet below. The bridge is the longest steel arch bridge in North America and the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas. You definitely won't find this experience anywhere else in the Southeast.
Adventures on the Gorge also features ATV tours, mountain biking, horseback riding and a whole host of other exciting activities (not all activities are available year-round). Plus, because visitor traffic is less in the winter, visitors can find a variety of accommodations at very affordable rates. Choose your own adventure and accommodations at www.adventurewestvirigina.com.
For those who enjoy the snow but aren't fond of snow skiing, Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk, N.C., invites you to hit the slopes in a different way: in snowshoes. Guests can sign up for a one-hour guided tour through the property's snow-covered forests and pristine open fields. Guides will set the pace according to your preferences, from a leisurely walk to an intense workout. Tours are available for adults as well as children age 8 and older, and include snowshoe rental.
In addition to snowshoeing, Sugar Mountain has more snow fun in the form of tubing. Hop aboard one of the tubes, and race your friends down the multilane tubing park. This exhilarating event is great for the entire family, and each session lasts for one hour and 45 minutes.
If you prefer ice instead of snow, then head to Sugar Mountain's 10,000-square-foot refrigerated outdoor ice skating rink. There are six 1.5-hour sessions each day, and rental skates are available onsite.
To aid you in your planning, Sugar Mountain Resort offers a variety of value packages (lodging, lift tickets, rental equipment and/or lessons) designed to ease the strain on your budget. Visit www.skisugar.com for more information.
For those who love to hunt and to shoot, River Bend Sportsman's Resort in Fingerville, S.C., welcomes you to spend a few winter days indulging your passion. Scattered across 550 acres, River Bend offers guests–both men and women–a plethora of activities, including field hunts, skeet and sporting clays courses, tower shoots, and paintball.
Available half or full day, field hunts primarily focus on quail, pheasant and chukar, but special hunts can be arranged. Guests are welcome to bring their own hunting dogs or work with the resort's own guides and dogs.
When it comes to sporting clays, River Bend has it covered. With clay targets in a range of sizes and shapes thrown at varying speeds, angles and heights, no shooting experience is the same. The resort also includes a fully automated sporting clays course, allowing guests to shoot and practice solo.
For beginner, intermediate or advanced shooters wanting to improve both their physical and mental skills, River Bend Sportsman's Resort plays host to the Paragon School of Sporting, where you can sign up for clinics or private lessons.
Thanks to top-notch facilities, River Bend is more than just a sporting retreat; it's a destination. The rustic lodge includes both public and private dining rooms, a pro shop, men's and ladies' locker rooms, a steam room, a recreation room, and a bar and lounge. For overnight guests, the property welcomes you to stay in the River Bend Cottage, which is outfitted with a fireplace, wet bar, entertainment center and Jacuzzi-style bathtubs.
To learn more or to plan your visit, go to www.rvbend.com.
Situated 50 miles east of Miami on the southern tip of North Bimini, the Bimini Big Game Club invites visitors to partake in an eco-vacation like no other. This unique destination combines adventure travel, sustainable tourism and marine conservation into one enticing package. Due to its location along a superhighway for migrating fish, anglers can try their luck with such deepwater game fish as marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, swordfish, big grouper, barracuda and snapper. Along Bimini's flats fishing enthusiasts can go after bonefish and permit.
Visitors also can take part in offshore fishing, backcountry fly fishing, technical or recreational diving, and/or underwater photography. You even can participate in shark and/or dolphin encounters.
Accommodations at Bimini Big Game Club include 35 guest rooms, four suites and six single-story bungalows with two guest rooms each. The resort offers several special packages to make visiting more affordable for all. For more information, check out www.biggameclubbimini.com.
As you can see, winter sporting adventures are not limited to snow skiing and snowboarding. You can enjoy a variety of innovative and exciting pursuits throughout the cold-weather months; it's just a matter of finding one that attracts your interest.
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