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Some people would have you believe that hiking is a 3-season activity. Assuming a concerned tone, they’ll warn you about frigid temperatures, park closures, and impassable trails. And, to a certain extent, they might be right. In the United States, winter is a season for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Or gathering around a fireplace with a few friends and a mug of hot cocoa or mulled wine.
Hikers should know however, that they don’t have to put off their kind of fun until the spring thaw, even if the snowdrifts outside continue to grow. They simply need to pick up a new piece of gear: snowshoes. A basic pair will only cost a little more than the waterproof, Gore-Tex boots you probably already own. Once you’ve chosen your snowshoes, all you need to do next is dress in layers, pack plenty of snacks and water (and maybe a few hand warmer packets just in case), and select a trail. To get you started, here’s a short list of state parks in the Northeast with winter trails and on-site rental facilities. Read more
The sprawling Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has certainly seen its share of change. Given the resort’s age – the place has been around since 1778, when the American Revolutionary War was still raging – you’d expect the storied hotel to have some curious lore. Tidbits like the fact that it served as a military hospital during World War II, that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor often slumbered here – or that the 710-room retreat was once home base for a hush-hush government bunker until a Washington Post journalist uncovered its covert coordinates in 1992.
In 2009, the resort made history of another kind, when it filed for bankruptcy. It was a pivotal moment for the glorious Allegheny Mountain hideaway, which had hosted generations of families and American presidents (26 of them) alike. For local coal baron, Jim Justice, it was a new beginning – both for him and the hotel.
The Winter Olympics are officially over – and, hopefully, the chilliest days of winter are, too. Inspired by all that snow-carving, high-flying action, why not hit the slopes yourself? This spring, a bevy of resorts are offering enticing deals to let you channel your inner Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. The weather has cooperated, too, especially in the Northeast, where several fierce storms have dumped snow on the slopes and amped up the powder potential. In addition, according to industry reports, visits are down 15 percent this March, which is typically high season – giving customers extra leverage. Still, you’ll find the best deals mid- to late April, when the skies are blue, temps are warmer, and slopes are less crowded – all sweet conditions. Here, just a few of the deals you can snap up before snapping on your boots:
Eat and Ski Free at The Canyons, Park City, Utah: Snag a one- to four-bedroom suite plus free lift tickets and a breakfast buffet for each paid night at several resorts, including Silverado Lodge and Vintage on the Strand. Packages start at $343 per night and the deal runs through April 11. Read more
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