Snow Riders opened the longest snow tubing hill on the East Coast last year. Once I heard that something was opening so close to our region, I knew I had to check it out. So when Snow Riders announced the lanes were officially opened for 2024, I grabbed my tickets and my snow tubing companion, and headed to West Virginia.
We opted to go to the snow tubing park on a Monday night in hopes of a smaller crowd. And luckily for us, that meant we got to take part in the Downhill Disco. All sessions after 5:30 p.m. feature changing multi-color lights while throwback tunes blast down the hill. It’s definitely the way to go.
As someone who has never been snow tubing — I have done plenty of sledding down what now seems like a very tame hill — the first ride down was the biggest shock. It was so much faster than I expected. There were points where I was airborne in the tube and riding up the sides of the lane, but I’m happy to report that I made it through the night pretty much unscathed.
At the top of the hill, we had the option to go down one of 10 lanes, though some were blocked off for the night. The few times we had to wait in line, it was at most three people deep, so expect a bunch of tubing runs during non-peak hours. By the end of the night, we were able to go down at least 10 times during our one-and-a-half-hour session.
Because of the icy, cold conditions from the week before and the below freezing temps that night, the lanes were a bit bumpy and fast — and ran faster as the night went on. After going down a few different lanes, and overhearing chatter from the other riders, it was clear we all noticed a few lanes that ran faster and were a bit more brutal than others. On my last run, I ended up going out of the lane and down the walking path.
One of the things I was most grateful for was the magic carpet conveyor belt. After a run down the hill, instead of walking back up, we hopped on the belt for a quick trip up the hill. If we had to walk back up to the top, we probably would’ve only lasted two or three rides.
At the end of the night, the lights go up and the music turns off, signaling it’s time to head home. While I felt fine later that night, the next morning, I was sore and my friend was nursing some bumps and bruises, but let’s chock that up to being closer to 30 than 20 in age.
Overall, snow tubing at Snow Riders is a great way to get out and enjoy the winter weather, especially for your teens and adrenaline chasers. And with it being so close to NoVA, why wouldn’t you try it out?
Tickets vary by day and time, but tend to range between $34 and $69 per tuber. Before buying tickets, know that you have to buy at least two tickets (sorry solo riders). You can book up to 42 tickets, so if you’re looking for a party, this is the place to go. And if snow isn’t in the forecast, the park can make its own snow, so you can tube even when Mother Nature doesn’t provide the frigid temps. 408 Alstadts Hill Rd., Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Feature image by Michele Kettner
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