Old-fashioned sled park in West Virginia longest on East Coast

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Old-fashioned sled park in West Virginia longest on East Coast
At Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia, is confirmed to be the largest on the East Coast. (Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce)

DAVIS, W.Va. — Nothing beats an old-fashioned ride on a sled, and one of the nation's longest sled runs, at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia, is confirmed to be the largest on the East Coast.

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As old-school as sledding may be, the park is attracting guests in record numbers, and officials are employing new technology to keep the operation running smoothly—including the provision of .

Sledders ride to the top of the run.

Brian Sarfino, marketing director for the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the park is now one of the region's outstanding winter attractions.

"There's nothing like a ride on a sled," says Sarfino, who's enthusiastic about the integration of the park with other winter venues, including ski resorts as well as shops, galleries, restaurants, and breweries.

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"It's an ideal family vacation destination," he says, "all the more so thanks to sledding, which is perfect for families and doesn't require that children possess any training."

A young sledder barrels down the sled run at Blackwater Falls State Park. (Photo courtesy Tucker County CVB)

Brad Reed, chief of West Virginia State Parks, underscored the value of the sled run as a group experience.

“The sled run remains a cherished attraction among West Virginia’s state parks, and we’re thrilled to extend a warm welcome to all for yet another season of exhilarating winter activities and family bonding.”

The quarter-mile run, which Sarfino says is the longest in the eastern U.S., is equipped with lighting for nighttime sledding and has a magic carpet conveyor that tows riders and their sleds back to the top of the hill.

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A favorite hangout, a warming hut at the base of the run, provides hot chocolate and snacks when sledders need to take a break.

Cross-country skis and snowshoes are also available for rent at the sled run.

The sled run usually remains open from late December until March 1, weather permitting.

To book a sledding session and learn more about other state park activities, visit . For more information on Tucker County and its ski areas and winter destinations, visit .

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