Shred Spots – sharing first hand information on places to ski and snowboard.
Liberty Mountain Resort is our home ski resort. It is the closets resort to the Baltimore metro area (followed closely by its sister resorts Roundtop and Whitetail), located in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, a mere 5 miles over the Maryland state line.The resort offers 22 interconnecting trails of varying difficulty. There is a good variety of beginner, intermediate, and expert level trails, with most trails being of intermediate difficulty (depending on who you ask). The trail variety, especially the beginner level trails, make this a great family resort where everyone can have a great day of riding, regardless of skill level.
Maryland only has one ski resort to call its own, and that is Wisp Four Season Resort in Deep Creek, Maryland. Wisp is three hours from Baltimore on a good day. For that reason, it seems that most of Maryland heads to Liberty Mountain and its sister resorts, Roundtop and Whitetail, for skiing and snowboarding. Liberty’s close proximity to Baltimore makes it perfect for a day trip. It can get a bit crowded on the weekends, especially between 12-3pm, when the morning skiers are getting their last runs in, and the afternoon skiers are just hitting the slopes. During these peak times, the lift lines move quickly, but the slopes can get crowded, especially where trails interconnect. We prefer to arrive at opening, as the skiing and snowboarding conditions are at their best, and there’s usually little-to-no line at the lifts. We typically break for lunch during the busiest times, before heading back out for afternoon and evening snowboarding. At night, the trails are 100% lit and practically deserted. Watch for icy conditions, as trails occasionally ice up after sunset.
Being an “advanced beginner,” my favorite trail at Liberty is Dipsy Doodle. It is the longest beginner trail on the mountain, with varied terrain and interesting challenges for my level. The trail starts at the top of the mountain and includes a few moderately steep hills, a flat section, and wide, banking turns. Pay close attention to trail markers, as Dipsy Doodle also intersects with intermediate and expert level trails. On his first day of snowboarding, ever, my cousin accidentally hung a left down White Lightning, an expert black diamond trail with moguls. We buried him on him that mountain. Just kidding, he survived… barely!
My son is an “advanced beginner” skier with teenaged superhero healing abilities. He enjoys hitting small jumps and funboxes with his cousins at Liberty’s terrain parks. He is also much more adventurous with intermediate level trails. One of my step-daughters is a very green beginner, and she is most comfortable in the First Class Area, with Lower Blue Streak and Sneaky Pete being at the very top of her ability level.
The Alpine Lodge, the resort’s main dining and rest area, is always crowded. Spectators grab window seats first thing in the morning, and they. don’t. move. Same goes for the fireplace. Finding a place to sit indoors, especially as a group, can be challenging around lunch time. Throughout the day it is a bit easier to find bench seating, but you likely won’t find anything with cushioning or a view.
The cafeteria at Liberty offers a wide variety of foods, both prepackaged and made-to-order. I don’t think any of the prepared food is worth writing home about, but it does the job. Last season their pizza was delicious, but much to our disappointment, they recently changed the recipe. Bummer! We usually pack some snacks and drinks from home to hold us over between breakfast and dinner. A smart move would be to stop at Subway and pack a few 6″ subs for lunch. Much more economical, and tasty, too!
If you decide to make a weekend of it, Liberty Mountain Resort does offer lodging on site. If time and availability permit, I would very, very, very highly suggest making reservations at The Lodges at Gettysburg. I am almost hesitatent to recommend the place, as I feel like it is my secret hidden gem. The Lodges are very reasonable and are absolutely gorgeous. They’re located just a few minutes from Liberty, and a few minutes from downtown Gettysburg. For a romantic couples retreat, opt for the Captain’s Lodge.
This season we picked up the Family Advantage Cards in order to take advantage of discounted lift tickets. If you have your own gear, and plan to visit at least two or three times within a season, I would highly recommend the Advantage Cards, which get you 40% off lift ticket prices. The Advantage Card discounts are good at both sister resorts, too.
What keeps us coming back to Liberty Mountain time after time, is the variety of trails and convenient location. We all ride at different abilities and comfort levels, and Liberty is able to keep each of us entertained and challenged, making for a great day of skiing and snowboarding for the entire family.
If you are a first time skier or snowboarder, be sure to check out my other blog post Insight and Tips for Beginner Snowboarders: Day 1.