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Because the arena — which at an boilerplate acclivity of 3,200 anxiety is one of the accomplished abundance valleys east of the Rockies — offers a ambit of alfresco activities and is acceptable to abundant of the East Coast, it has admiring families like Dr. Jim Vaughan and his three developed sons, who originally advised affairs a additional home in Vail, Colo.

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Dr. Vaughan, a physician, and one son, Jim Jr., a applesauce musician, alive in Elmira, N.Y., and the added sons, Tim and P. J., alive in Arlington, Va., alive as salesmen for advice technology firms. Three of them are decline skiers, and P. J. is a geocacher.

“From a cardinal of perspectives, including accessibility and the altered kinds of things we’re absorbed in, West Virginia makes a lot added faculty for us,” Dr. Vaughan said, “especially back we plan to absorb time actuality in all four seasons.”

In the coldest months, alfresco pursuits board ice skating, snow tubing and sledding, in accession to skiing and snowshoeing. In spring, summer and abatement (and sometimes in the snow), it’s abundance biking, spelunking and horseback riding. Kayaking, golfing and trout fishing are additionally popular.

Winter or summer, the abridgement of ambient ablaze in the sparsely busy arena makes the basin ideal for stargazers.

The Scene

In all seasons, the Canaan Basin lures visitors who adopt to absorb their time outdoors and, not surprisingly, the arena both day and night is absolutely casual. At the Purple Fiddle, a accepted night atom in Thomas, an old coal-mining town, breadth the beer arrives in Mason jars and the country music is live, the bond dress cipher calls for jeans, accidental acme and maybe a cowboy hat for the daring.

At the Canaan Basin Resort and Conference Center, several afar south of Davis, Dr. Frederick Reichle, the owner, declared the atmosphere in the abode afterwards a day on the slopes as ancestors aggressive and relaxed.

“Don’t apprehend to see a $1,000 ski clothing about here,” said Dr. Reichle, who is additionally a physician in Philadelphia. “That’s not what we’re about.”

While the basin attracts mostly skiers and hikers, not anybody focuses alone on the outdoors. For John and Titi Ferguson, a draw is the alive bounded arts community. A above affection is the 3,000-square-foot MountainMade Artist Gallery in Thomas, which appearance the works of added than 200 West Virginia artists, including handcrafted appliance and hand-blown glass.

Former association of Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson — he designs stained-glass art altar and she paints watercolors — bought their circuitous three-bedroom ski abode in Davis 17 years ago and accept back retired there.

“At first, we went to Canada for reliable snow conditions, but we couldn’t consistently get abroad for a continued time, so we started advancing to the Canaan Valley, which was added convenient,” said Mr. Ferguson, who aforetime formed in medical publishing. “And again we apparent this added big additional about active here.”

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Pros

The Canaan Basin is accepted to become a added attainable break from the Washington breadth in the abutting few years. When the oft-delayed Corridor H, a artery federal artery actuality built, is assuredly completed (still a few years away), the cruise from arctic Virginia, Maryland and Washington, breadth abounding owners of additional homes in Tucker and Davis alive abounding time, will be bargain to 2 hours and 45 account from the accepted three and a bisected hours. Corridor H, which begins in Wardensville, W.Va., will eventually end 110 afar further west, in Elkins, afterwards looping through Davis.

But no amount how accepted or attainable it becomes, there is a congenital absolute on how densely busy the Canaan Basin can become. Sixty percent of the acreage is either accompaniment or federally endemic and cannot be developed, said William Smith, controlling administrator of the bounded alcove of commerce, abrogation about 5,000 acreage of clandestine acreage in the basin that either has been developed or can be developed.

The basin includes the 10,215-acre federal Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, which has steep, bouldered trails for able hikers, and Canaan Abundance Backcountry, a plateau of about 13,532 acreage that takes in Blackwater Falls Accompaniment Park. And sections of the federally endemic 919,000-acre Monongahela National Forest are in Tucker County.

Cons

Those gluttonous of-the-moment restaurants and arrant ball should attending elsewhere. The “downtowns” of Davis and Thomas board no added than one or two capital streets, with a scattering of food and restaurants. Both towns buck a arresting affinity to a Western-movie set.

By the way, there is one cartage ablaze in all Tucker County, in Parsons, the canton seat, west of Davis.

The Real Estate Market

Many bodies affairs additional homes in Davis and Thomas are from the Philadelphia breadth as able-bodied as from about Washington, according to Amy Fiorini, a sales abettor for Timberline Resort Realty in Canaan Valley. They tend to be investors, attorneys or business executives.

“My barter tend to be young, family-oriented, able-bodied families who appetite to comedy adamantine during the day,” she said, “and again absorb their evenings by the broiler with a basin of airheaded and a Scrabble board.”

Laura Reed, who owns Canaan Realty with her husband, Cary W. Reed, said the abridgement of borough sewers in some places additionally banned acute development, banishment lots to be ample abundant to board catchbasin fields.

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For $335,000, home buyers can acquisition a three-bedroom, three-bath ski abode with a hot tub aural bristles afar of a ski area. For $550,000, there are four-bedroom houses on two to bristles acreage aural walking distanceof the slopes.

Single-family houses band the trails at one of the area’s above decline ski areas, Timberline Ski Resort. A 5,000-square-foot slope-side home on a quarter-acre lot awash for $975,000 this summer.

Not all home buyers, however, opt to be abreast the lifts. David Platt, a agent from Takoma Park, Md., and his wife, Michelle Smith, a amusing artisan and therapist, bought a three-bedroom Victorian in Thomas aftermost year for $90,000 and are spending addition $100,000 to fix it up. Alike admitting they both ski downhill, they capital their break to be in a town.

“We like actuality able to airing to the shops, alike admitting there’s aloof a few of them,” Ms. Smith said. “Thomas is a actual little town.”

LAY OF THE LAND

POPULATION — 577 bodies lived in Davis aftermost year, according to an appraisal by the federal census, and 411 in Thomas. In Tucker Canton (www.canaanvalley.org), which governs the Canaan Valley, an unincorporated breadth anon south of Davis, the citizenry was estimated at 6,943.

SIZE — Davis covers 1.1 aboveboard miles, Thomas 0.6. Canaan Basin encompasses an estimated 32 aboveboard miles, best of which is federal or accompaniment esplanade land, according to the Tucker Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

LOCATION — Davis and Thomas are beneath than 200 afar west of Washington, and about 300 afar southwest of Philadelphia.

WHO’S BUYING — Professionals from city Washington and Philadelphia.

GETTING THERE — From the Washington area, booty I-270 arctic to I-70 west to I-68 west abreast Hancock, Md. Follow I-68 west to Cumberland, Md., again Route 220 south through Keyser, W.Va., until it intersects with Route 50 west abreast New Creek, W.Va. Booty Route 50 west a abbreviate ambit until it connects with Route 93 west. Follow Route 93 west to Davis.

Or booty I-70 west to I-68 west to Route 219 south. In West Virginia, aces up Route 32 and drive south to Thomas and Davis. Route 32 goes south into the Canaan Valley.

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WHILE YOU’RE LOOKING — The abode at the Canaan Basin Resort and Conference Center off Route 32 (800-622-4121, www.canaanresort.com) has 250 apartment starting at $79 on weekends.

THREE FOR SALE

Ski Country That Emphasizes the Country

WHAT — 2-bedroom abode HOW MUCH — $300,000

This 1,816-square-foot, two-bedroom furnished 1989 abode in the Northpoint Resort has alveolate ceilings, a loft, a broiler and a hot tub. Broker: Rita Jo Haverty, Mountaintop Realty, (800) 624-4341; www.mountaintoprealty.com.

WHAT — 5-bedroom abode HOW MUCH $890,000

One breadth of this 3,000-square-foot home, congenital in 1979, has a ample kitchen, a dining area, three bedrooms and a bath. It is affiliated to addition breadth with a abundant room, a loft, a playroom, two bedrooms, two baths and a fireplace. The acreage is 7.48 acreage with two ponds. Agent: Amy Fiorini, Timberline Resort Realty, (800) 633-6682; www.timberlinerealty.com.

WHAT — 7-bedroom abode HOW MUCH — $1,185,000

This new, 6,500-square-foot abode is adjoining to a cross-country ski trail. It has four gas fireplaces, bristles bathrooms and an alfresco hot tub. The basement is accomplished and has a ski access with congenital boot-dryers, two bedrooms, a bath and a ample game/theater room. Broker: Cary W. Reed, Canaan Realty, (800) 448-0074; www.canaanrealty.com.

Information on backdrop was supplied by the advertisement companies.

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