Winter is here — time to hit the slopes!

Sapphire Valley — Sapphire Valley Ski Resort offers snow sports opportunities as part of a 5700-acre resort, offering a moderate slope fit for intermediate skiers and ideal for youth and beginners. For the non-skiers, there are the Frozen Falls Tube Park and Winter Zip Line Experiences. A renovated Base Lodge Park and Fire Pit complete the experience. Sapphire Valley Ski Resort can be found at 127 Cherokee Trail in Sapphire, and on the web at The ski cam is up and running and will keep you updated on the powder. Call them at 743-7663 for more information.

Cataloochee — Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley is a ski and snowboard resort, offering 100 percent snow-making coverage of slopes that include 18 skiing and snowboarding slopes and trails that are 44 percent beginner, 39 percent intermediate, and 17 percent advanced to expert. Ski and snowboard lessons are available for everyone from the novice to advanced and they have a huge line of rental equipment that is updated every year. Cataloochee Ski Area is located four miles off U.S. 19 above Maggie Valley, and is easily accessed from I-40. Their Tube World location is at 4721 Soco Road. Information on both is available at or 926-0285.

Scaly Mountain — Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center, at 7420 Dillard Road in Scaly Mountain (Macon County), offers ice skating and snow tubing in winter. Tubes and skates are supplied. There’s a gem mine onsite that is open unless temperatures are extremely cold. Trout fishing is available year-round. The café and market are open during the holidays and on weekends. A webcam on the website shows conditions. The Outdoor Center can be reached at 526-3737.

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