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Susquehanna Life

8 Ways to Put the Fun Back in Winter

Nov 25, 2016 09:07PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

What if, just for this winter, you let Susquehanna Life magazine reacquaint you with some of the activities you enjoyed as a child, and introduce you to innovative outdoor winter pursuits? Let us help put the fun back into the season!

Remember anticipating a snowfall and the fun—and potential snow day—it would bring. As we age, we lose that child-like wonder and look at snow as a hindrance, even failing to see its beauty.

Pennsylvania’s more than 120 scenic state parks, and countless trails for snowmobiling and snowshoeing, and the resorts that reinvent themselves for the winter, offer outdoor adventures for any taste—just the remedy to chase away the winter blues!

1. Snow Tubing

Heritage Hills Resort, York, is the location of AvalanchExpress snow tubing Terrain Park. Downhill runs, including extreme, intermediate and family lanes, offer adventures for every age and ability. Two powered rope lines tow tubers to the hilltop and high-intensity, full-flooding lighting illuminates the park after dusk. Fire pits and an indoor bar provide warming interludes.

2. Snowmobiling

More than 140 miles of trails in McKean County connect with a total of 360 miles of trails in the Allegheny National Forest, including the beautiful 114-mile Allegheny Snowmobile Loop. Experience the Pennsylvania Wilds region of Pennsylvania, complete with its beautiful and rugged scenery. You may never look at winter the same way again.


3. Sleigh Rides 

Travel back to a quieter, more peaceful time aboard a horse-drawn carriage at Pocono Manor Stables.  You’ll ride through beautiful, snow-covered paths while enjoying the scenic grounds.


4. Snowshoeing and Wind Skating

Presque Isle State Park’s beautiful landscapes—including its unique ice dunes—offer the perfect backdrop for a winter adventure on snowshoes. The dunes, formed by a combination of lake ice, wave surge and freezing spray, are a sight to behold. Or grab a pair of ice skates and enjoy wind skating, a sport that involves moving over ice on ice skates using the force of the wind. A small sail is held in one’s hands or leaned against.


5. Iceboating


Pymatuning Lake and State Park: Visitors are permitted to iceboat anywhere on the lake, and can try other cold weather sports in the area. Jamestown Marina maintains a winter concession where visitors can buy refreshments and rent ice skates or cross-country skis.


6. Snowcat rides

Seven Springs Mountain Resort: Tag along on one of the resort’s groomers for a night ride with remarkable views of the mountain’s slopes. Used to groom the mountains in the late evening and early morning hours, snowcats smooth the terrain and make for perfect skiing conditions. Visitors also can take guided snowshoe and snowmobile tours through the resort’s grounds.


7. Mountain Coaster

Camelback Mountain Resort, Tannersville: Reported to be the only mountain coaster in Pennsylvania, the 4500-foot-long, steel track coaster traverses through the trees and down the steep slopes of Camelback’s mountains. Another adventure is waiting on the twin zip lines, which allow visitors to glide through and over the trees 85 feet above the slopes.


8. Ice Fishing

For outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the winter blues, there’s nothing like walking on a frozen lake, carving a hole and pulling up the elusive fish from the mysterious, icy depths. Try your hand at catching largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappies and other species at one of Pennsylvania’s tranquil state parks.


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