Cataloochee Announces New Trail Additions!

We want to thank Jeff Schmerker, a staff writer with The Mountaineer Newspaper in Waynesville, North Carolina for some “props” given to myself and the website.  He also shares some comments about Cataloochee that many of you would find interesting; particularly a statement about Cataloochee Ski Area thinking about reopening AGAIN on April 8th.

Here’s Jeff’s statement, “…While (Chris) Bates of Cataloochee vows that Cataloochee will be the last (ski area)  to close in North Carolina, being the last to close in the mid-Atlantic will take some work. Wintergreen in Virginia, Wisp in Maryland, and Snowshoe and Timberline in West Virginia all say they will be open on April 2.”

That quote was prompted by a “tease” that Cataloochee might open one more day past their planned April 1st opening this Saturday. However, with the weather forecast that seems more doubtful today than it was earlier in the week.

Schmerker also wrote, “Bates said an announcement on the April 8 ski day will not be made until the end of this week.”

This past Friday, Cataloochee also announced more than $1 million in improvements that are going to be implemented over the summer. Included in those plans is a significant investment in ski and snowboard rental equipment as well as more of the same high-tech automated snowmaking equipment that allowed the area to make tons of snow in marginal conditions this season.

Even MORE exciting to many is their plans to ADD THREE “NEW” trails for skiers and riders.

Joe Harmon, who goes by “Snowbird” on the messageboard will be pleased to hear the news as Chris Bates, Cataloochee’s general manager, said the three trails included Upper Snowbird, Lower Snowbird, and a yet-to-be-named trail.

The “Yet-to-be-named” trail is genuinely a new trail. Upper Snowbird used to be skied on, but has not been open for a number of years and Lower Snowbird has been open as a NATURAL SNOW trail only…which means that it has not been only except on rare occasions.  Now ALL three trails will be included in the snowmaking plans and open all season long.

The Mountaineer Newspaper provided a nice description of the new trail offerings.  Schmerker writes, “Upper Snowbird comes off the top of the double chair, and curves around to the top of the quad chair. Lower Snowbird starts near the top of the quad and ends near the midstation of the double chair. The unnamed trail will start at the double chair mid-station and end near the top of Easy Way.”

He also quoted Chris Bates as saying, “The three trails will give beginner/intermediate skiers for the first time a way to ski the area from top to bottom. “On the whole, people are not opening new terrain, especially in this market” Bates said.

Public Relations Sweetheart, Tammy Brown has been telling us that the new trails are just PART of a significant master plan that will most likely add even MORE trails and a new lift to Cataloochee’s offerings.

The Cat Crew and all fans of Cataloochee will be excited to see the additions for next season and that makes Season Pass Tickets an EVEN BETTER bargain!

Thanks to Jeff Schmerker for portions of this material.  You can read Jeff’s stories at

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.