After what felt like a very long time away from our home in D.C., I’m back in Georgetown and ready to take on my first East Coast winter. Aside from a few exaggerated “snow storms” (aka the 1-inch of snow that never happened last weekend), it’s been a pretty mild winter … so far! Wanting to brave the newsworthy weather conditions and make good on my #IAmEmpowered goal for 2017, we decided to go skiing. Thankfully, we found Liberty Mountain Resort in Fairfield, PA, which is only 1.5 hours from Washington, D.C. and offers a cute little mountain for us to get our feet wet.
Literally. It rained. Feet = very wet.
The drive out of the city was easy and, as always, scenic. We drove through quaint towns that offered eclectic coffee shops and breakfast spots. If we weren’t planning to ski a half day, I would have insisted we explore a little before heading to the mountain. As quaint as the towns and countrysides were, however, it wasn’t long before I noticed that there wasn’t any snow. In fact, we were four minutes away and there still wasn’t snow on the ground. While I was a little bummed to learn it wasn’t going to be quite the winter wonderland I envisioned for our first time skiing on the East Coast, Liberty’s man-made snow worked fine for our quick trip.
Parking was a breeze, as Liberty offers free and easy parking. They also have an unloading zone in the main circle near the ticketing offices, which is perfect for families with young children and lots of gear to carry. When we arrived in the ticketing/ice skating area, it felt a little bit like (a very mini) Disneyland. Upbeat music played throughout the quad, bright colors swirled as children raced around in their neon ski suits, and the courtesy staff greeted us with such enthusiasm you would have thought they were old friends inviting us to dinner.
“Thank you for visiting us!!” shouted a very jolly man in a blue Liberty Mountain Resort jacket, who stood next to three other greeters with equally bright smiles. I read on their website that Liberty guarantees “that they are just about the nicest, most helpful people you will ever meet!” and I wholeheartedly agree. Everyone we met was nice and extra helpful.
If you’re planning on skiing, here is what you need to know:
- PRICES: On the weekend, full 8-hour passes are $73/pp ($62/pp for 6-12 year-olds). Half-day passes are $66/pp ($56/pp, ages 6-12). They do offer a $5 discount for military (this does not include dependents). If you’re looking to save a little money, ski mid-week, when full-day passes are only $62/pp. They also offer a steep discount for Advantage card holders. You can learn more about daily rates here.
- LIFTS & TRAILS: Liberty has 9 lifts and trails for all ability levels. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10 for family-friendliness. There are several volunteers watching and skiing to help direct you to the right trails. Will and I found the backside of the mountain offered longer, more advanced trails, which we enjoyed more than the front side. The trails are short and if you have skied before, you’ll find it easy to ride all of the lifts within an hour. If you’re interested in night skiing, all trails are 100% lit for nightly skiing, something I haven’t tried yet but would love to do soon!
- TERRAIN PARK: For all of your truly daring darlings out there, Liberty has four terrain parks for beginner, intermediate, and expert skiers and snowboarders. From short distance rails to low elevation tabletops, test your freestyle skills on these practice areas. I think I’ll stick to the regular slopes for now. 😉
Overall, we enjoyed Liberty Mountain Resort. It’s small and, though different from our West Coast ski experiences, it was a fun and convenient day-trip from D.C. to click into our skis for a few hours.
If you’re from D.C., where are your favorite places to ski near the DMV area? We’re hoping to check out Whitetail Resort soon, but I’d love more recommendations! Not from D.C.? What are your favorite winter activities? I’d love to hear from you. Have a great week!