Best of Mercer County: Winter Edition
What’s “snowing” on? Mercer County’s best winter adventures! Wrap that scarf and get ready for fantastic hikes, cabins, plays and much more.
Instagram isn’t the only place with awe-inspiring views; Mercer County has them, too! Frozen waterfalls, snowy valleys, and frosted mountains are yours to discover and photograph.
Here are some favorite snowy escapes:
- Hatfield-McCoy Trail: America’s largest off-road network crawls with more than 600 miles of ATV paths. Mercer County’s Pocahontas Trail begins in Bramwell and is one of the longest contiguous routes within the system.
- Camp Creek State Park and Forest: showy waterfalls, ridgeline trails and silent forests enhance every hike. The park is right off I-77, too.
- Brush Creek Preserve: accessible yet secluded, this Athens wilderness boasts a 25-foot-high cascade.
Ski, snowboard, snow tube, sleep. Repeat.
When snow carpets the mountains, head to Winterplace Ski Resort in Ghent. It has 27 slopes, more than a quarter of which are for beginners. You also get a base elevation of 2,997 feet.
Winterplace isn’t just for ski bums, though. The resort has terrain parks and West Virginia’s biggest snow tube area— 18 lanes of downhill bliss, complete with carpet lifts. Restaurants and nighttime winter sports add to the magic.
It’s more fun than you can pack into a single day. Book a cozy cabin at the resort for a weekend vacation! Mercer County also has affordable hotels that are close to Winterplace.
Thinking outside the box
Mercer County has lots of indoor options, too. One sure-fire winner is Out of the Box Room Escape, an interactive mystery experience in Princeton.
Never heard of it? Imagine a themed room with props and clues. You have an hour to solve the mystery, which varies based on your experience level. Bring friends for extra help (and fun!). It’s fast paced and dramatic.
Out of the Box Room Escape currently has two games. If you’re a beginner, try “The Captain’s Cabin.” Then move on to “The Vanishing Act,” a more demanding mystery. Can you figure everything out in time?
Winter is a great time to exercise your creative side. Itching to paint? Let Your Art Shine or Pottery Time in Princeton have everything you need. All you have to do is pick something to decorate. Paint anything from animal figurines to cereal bowls! After that, staff will send your creation off to the kiln. It’s a great way to create a gift for a friend, too. Valentine’s Day isn’t too far away!
Dinner and a show
Which do you prefer: smoky BBQ or lemonata chicken? Take your pick with a pre-show meal at the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton!
February’s entertainment will be “The Passing of Pearl,” a story of friendship. When the play’s namesake dies, her friends reminisce about 1960s Memphis and the diner they shared together.
The Feb. 3 showing includes dinner from Savory Flavors BBQ. Your meal comes with pulled pork, chicken legs and side dishes like cole slaw, buffalo chips and dessert.
The Feb. 4 show is a lunchtime production with David’s Downtown; look forward to gourmet chicken, salad, pasta, rolls and dessert.
Nothing beats the warmth of a crackling fire, deep in the heart of winter— especially when rentals are heavily discounted. That’s right! It’s low season in Mercer, which means cabins are more affordable than ever.
Score deals at places like:
- Brushcreek Falls RV Resort (Princeton): convenient to Winterplace Ski Resort and the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, this new attraction has comfortable efficiency cabins.
- Buffalo Trails (Bluewell): bring yourself or 15 other friends and family members! This attractive resort has comfortable cabins and cottages, plus a restaurant.
- The Country Cabin Farm Retreat (Princeton): nestled on a 60-acre farm in the Bluestone Valley, this historic home makes relaxation easy.
How are you going to spend winter in Mercer County?