The “Turtle Slide Tube Ride” comes to Canaan Valley State Park this summer. Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
It may be back-to-school time, but opportunities for warm-weather outdoor fun continue at Canaan Valley State Park. The same slopes that host thousands of skiers in the winter also are great fun in the offseason, spring through fall.
“Winter was great last year, with more than 150 inches of natural snow,” said David Vance, assistant ski area manager, “but summer is also a great time to hit the slopes. No snow? No problem! You can still go tubing at Canaan Valley without snow or water.”
Canaan Valley this year reintroduced “The Turtle Slide Tube Ride,” a downhill tubing course for all ages. No-snow tubing was invented by Neveplast, an Italian company that developed a plastic material with the same slipperiness as snow. It functions without the use of water or snow and is installed on slopes for outdoor recreation in other seasons. Its low profile creates a safe play space for all ages. Courses are found in Italy, Spain, Austria and Hungary, with different uses, but always outdoors and as an alternative to snow-covered slopes.
Canaan Valley State Park employees and Vance have fitted the inflated tubes used for winter snow tubing with a hard bottom shell which allows the tubes to scoot downhill with a “swoosh.” Each 4-foot wide run has raised edges and slightly lowered centers to keep riders on the track. A surface lift returns the rider to the top of the hill for the next run. The lanes are 300 feet long.
Canaan Valley Resort offers 2-hour sessions for $15 per person. The sessions are held daily 9:30-11:30 a.m., 12-2 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. The slide is located at the ski area adjacent to the scenic chairlift ride, which is open daily 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets for the Turtle Slide Tube Ride may be purchased in the Bear Paw Gift Shop located at the ski area. Tubers must meet a height requirement of 42 inches and be age 4 or older.
More summer outdoor sports at Canaan Valley State Park
Five-stand Sporting Clay Target Field
Canaan Valley Resort also features a five-stand sporting clays target field, which was introduced in 2013. Located at the winter tubing site, this shooting sport includes a round of target shooting for $25 per person. The rate includes shotgun, shells, clay targets, vest and protective gear. The shooting range will be open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and accepts advance evening appointments during the summer season. The minimum age requirement to shoot is 16.
Geoffrey Cornish Designed Golf Course
The 2014 season for the Geoffrey Cornish designed, 18-hole championship golf course at Canaan Valley Resort continues through Nov. 2. Canaan Valley offers season passes for the avid golfer.