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Explore Winter Wonderland at Cattaraugus County in The Enchanted Mountains

Explore the Winter Wonderlands at Cattaraugus County in the Enchanted Mountains

Contributed by: Cattaraugus County

Western New York Winter is upon us in The Enchanted Mountains! Here in Cattaraugus County, one day we could be shoveling out two feet of snow and the next dodging raindrops! Never fret, whether you choose to explore the Winter Wonderlands of our Natural areas or prefer to celebrate the season by visiting our splendid indoor museums, galleries and theatre performances, you are sure to celebrate all of Winter, not just the holidays. Come and enjoy these fun winter activities with the whole family, you’ll be glad you did!

Snowmobile season is in full effect! [Image: enchantedmountains.com]

Trails and Lodging 

When the snow comes down all fluffy and fast, you can be sure that is the best time to ride a snowmobile. Cascade over the freshly fallen snow laying peacefully on the fields or slow down in our forested areas to look up and glance at the snow-lined trees. We have over 450 miles of trails, including those in Allegany State Park. With all those miles and trails that connect into the next County, you will need at least a couple days to pack in all the fun! We have numerous lodgings with easy trail access including cabins in Allegany State Park, Harwood Haven, Mystic Water Resort and The Woods at Bear Creek! Plus plenty of B&B’s, house rentals and more! Call 1-800-331-0543 for your Free Trail Map and brochure which lists these places and more, plus restaurants, snowmobile rentals , snowmobile service stops and gas stations along the trail!

Here is just one example of the day of fun that awaits you this winter!

Stay at The Inn at One Bank Street in Randolph, which has restaurants and gas within a half of a block from your guest room. Walk over to Vern’s Place in the morning for an affordable, delicious meal to give you the energy to be out in the cold all day. Head back to the room, gear up and take your sled over to Arrowmart to gas up before you go, again just a half block away! Now you’re ready for an adventure – but don’t forget your trail map! It is very important to respect the landowners that allow the trails to go over their property. And remember, just because you see a trail doesn’t mean it is for your use! It is your responsibility to know the trails and stick to them!

How about heading up to Little Valley, then over through the back hills of Ellicottville through the McCarty Hill Forest then over to the quaint town of Franklinville. Check out the Woods at Bear Creek for dinner and to warm up. The Woods at Bear Creek offers a view of the pristine snow over their lake that can be seen from the restaurant! Once you’re warmed up, head south through Ischua and down through Portville. If you didn’t grab a bite to eat at The Woods at Bear Creek, then give Sprague’s Maple Farms a try! Almost everything on the menu has maple syrup in it! There are gas opportunities here too at Kwik Fill and the Halfway Inn Bar & Grill. Make your back to Randolph through Allegany State Park to start scoping out a location for next year’s snowmobile vacation.

Love winter but prefer the indoors?

Why not ease into it with ice-skating at the William O Smith Rec. Center in Olean. This is the perfect compromise. You get to enjoy a great winter sport, but can step off the ice to warm up at any time. Plus, what makes a better date night than ice-skating? (Hint, hint) Afterwards, take that special someone out to a lovely dinner at any of the new restaurants in Olean. Try Woodside Tavern on the Range on River Road for a beautiful setting, or the hip new Ravyn & Robyn Lounge, featuring fine Italian Cuisine made from scratch! There’s always the tried and true favorites as well – The Beef N Barrel, Brothers Bistro, El Mariachi and Angee’s! Recount the funny happenings of ice-skating while you dine together and enjoy the slower pace of winter.

Historial Museum exhibit fat Cattaraugus County New York

Cattaraugus County Historical Museum  [Image: Cattaraugus County]

Can’t stand the thought of cold weather?

Well, we recommend you make your way into one of our outstanding museums, galleries or theatrical performances to keep you warm. We have 26 museums in the County that can be viewed in our Heritage Brochure (free if requested as well). These have a variety of interests including Town and Village histories, History of the County, Seneca Nation Culture, themes relating to African American History and the Underground Railroad and one even has a Mammoth! The Regina A Quick Center is located on the campus of St. Bonaventure University and has stunning and important works of art from their collection and others. There are also live performances here from renowned musicians thanks to the group “Friends of Good Music”.

The theatre is alive and well and as you know the saying goes, “The Show Must Go On”. And that means in the winter as well. Spend a delightful evening inside dreaming of other lives lived and hearing the great stories and musicals put on by our fantastic local talent. Olean Community Theatre will be starting their 38th season in 2017 and will feature “The Big Meal” “Assassins” and “9 to 5”. The Olean Theatre Workshop has provided family theater for over 34 years and upcoming performances of The Odd Couple will debut in Feb. The Ray Evans Seneca Theatre is the host to the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association’s performances. “Hair” will be gracing the stage here in February and is sure to be the talk of the town for the months surrounding. This one is not to be missed!

Actors play a scene from the play Arsenic and Old Lace at the Olean Community Theatre in The Enchanted Mountains

Olean Community Theatre, Arsenic and Old Lace Play  [Image: Cattaraugus County]

So whatever you’re idea of winter is, a time to enjoy crisp cool air and fluffy snow or a time to slow down, relax and find special moments indoors, then The Enchanted Mountains of Western NY are where you need to be! Visit us online at EnchantedMountains.com, call us at 1-800-331-0543 or follow us on Facebook!

A Last Hurrah for Winter Adventures

As March rolls around, winter season is indeed melting away. Soon, the snow blanketing everything in sight that previously transformed the ground into a wondrous, pristine white, will retreat to give way to the flourishing green of trees, various vegetation, and the cheerful movement of wildlife. But before we say our final goodbye to winter season, here’s a last hurrah for winter adventures that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Cross-country Skiing

cross country ski

Miles of icy, snowy open terrain are ready to be explored while cross-country skiing. [Image: http://spgweekends.com/]

Cross-country skiing is one of the more popular winter sports in the country. It’s a form of skiing that utilizes one’s own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain. Fun fact: Did you know that this form of skiing was actually first practiced around 600 BCE in China? Incredible how far it has gone since then!

While it’s now generally practiced for fun, some still use it for transportation, just as it was originally utilized. It’s now generally considered a popular recreational activity for individuals and groups who want to explore the snow-laden country with friends and family.

Ice Fishing

ice fishing

Ice fishing in the middle of a frozen lake. [Image: www.adventure.howstuffworks.com/]

Ice fishing can be a fun activity to do during the winter. Many local wildlife and park departments even offer free fishing activities for their visitors to participate in. While ice fishing requires some skill and knowledge, pretty much anyone can enjoy this sport with some research and guidance beforehand.

This sport requires only a couple of key pieces of equipment: Lines and fish hooks or spears. With the weather heading on to the milder March where spring will soon step in to take the chill away, now is the perfect time to go ice fishing on a frozen body of water. As a precaution to protect oneself from frostbite, dress comfortably with layers (heavy shirt, pants, socks, and a wool or fleece sweater). Research some cold survival tips before going out to stay safe and warm while outdoors.

Ice Skating

ice skating

The ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center, New York is a seasonal landmark during the winter season. [Image: www.indiatimes.com/]

Ice skating is a popular sport for all ages—who doesn’t love the thrill of being on ice? Challenging one’s balance and coordination, it’s one of the oldest winter recreational sports. It’s particularly popular among children, which makes it a great family activity.

Snowboarding

snowboarding

A snowboarder showing off some moves. [Image: www.snowbrains.com/]

Snowboarding is another activity that can be done during winter. The sport originated as a game created by an engineer in Michigan, which later transformed into an actual sport. It was originally called “snurfer” (snow + surfer), and since then, it has grown and has been a winter sport in the Olympics since 1998. This activity is popular with everyone from beginners to seasoned pros.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

A snowmobile tour group. [Image: www.michigan.org/]

Snowmobiling is a fun activity that you can do solo or with a group. Depending on the vehicle, it can hold up to two people, which is perfect for group adventures across winter’s shining white terrain. And if you find that you’re good enough, you might want to head over to your local park for a snowmobiling competition.

If you’re interested in finding which state parks are the best venues for these winter sports, head on over to our Pocket Ranger® state park apps, but do it quickly because it’s getting warm out there. Using our explore feature, you’ll have this information at your fingertips in no time. Happy winter adventuring!

Winter Never Gets Old in the Enchanted Mountains of Western NY!

Contributed by Cattaraugus County Tourism

People walking on snow at Cattaraugus County

Image: Cattaraugus County Tourism

Do you tire of winter before it even begins? Or how about just after the holidays? Think that there is nothing to do when it’s cold outside besides sit under a blanket and try to keep warm? That’s not what we think here in Cattaraugus County, the Enchanted Mountains of Western NY. We have many reasons to love winter and all four seasons of the year. We are in the top of the list for counties who receive the maximum snowfall in NY state. It’s no wonder we know how to have fun in the snow! How does cascading over the snow on a trail-dominating snowmobile sound? Or exploring the back woods? Or breaking your own trails on snowshoes? You can do all that right here and will soon be warming up to winter as well!

December is here, and that means snow can happen at any time! The trails open up right after hunting season ends (December 22), the week before Christmas vacation. Plan ahead to enjoy the upcoming season of fun by calling for a FREE snowmobile map. Our trails will take you through deep woods freshly covered with snow, around small towns with businesses that welcome snowmobilers, and sometimes even over a frozen lake! The map will guide you throughout our miles and miles of trails (almost 400!) in our county and into the neighboring counties as well. You won’t have to worry about getting lost! And if you don’t feel like traveling far, our trails offer more than enough dashing through the snow. The number to call for the map is 1-800-331-0543.

Trail of people on snow mobiles at Cattaraugus County

Image: Cattaraugus County Tourism

If you don’t have a snowmobile, we can recommend where you can rent one—even ones that will be delivered right to where you are staying. We can also recommend places for you to stay right off the snowmobile trails. Allegany State Park has winterized cabins that range from rustic to high-end cottages that include all the amenities of home besides food. You can spend the day out riding in the snow and then come back to a comfy cabin warmed just to the temperature you like. If you have a large family or your snowmobiling club wants to vacation together, try one of the newly restored group camps at Allegany State Park. The cabins are all located together with plenty of bathroom space (handicap accessible also) and a large kitchen/dining area so you can all have meals together.

Prefer the slower paced enjoyment of the wintry outdoors instead of riding snowmobiles? You can take up snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. We have plenty of places for that as well! Allegany State Park has a large trail system for cross-country skiing: the Art Roscoe Trail System. It’s almost 25-miles worth of loops, giving you opportunities ranging from a casual walk to an all-out workout. You can rent skis right across from the system at the Summit Warming Hut. Snowshoes are not permitted on this trail system, but are allowed anywhere else in the park. Find your favorite summer hiking trail and attempt it in the winter. Compare the differences of the seasons and add even more memories to your favorite hikes. You can also cross-country ski at Holiday Valley, known for its downhill skiing. Cruise the ridgelines at the top of the mountain or circle around the golf course down below—both offer spectacular views. They also rent out cross-country skis if you are in need.

Pfeiffer Nature Center has miles of trails just waiting to be explored. The trails are well-groomed and kept clean all winter long. They have rentals, but the number is limited so call ahead. There are two properties of Pfeiffer Nature Center: the Lillibridge Property and the Eshelman Property. The Lillibridge Property will take you through an old growth forest with red and white oaks estimated to be around 150 years old. Thorton Thruway leads you to the southern border of the property where you can see one of the oldest Black Gum trees in the East, which is more than 500 years old! The Eshelman Property offers hikes of shorter distances, going along a creek then up a hill for a great view of the valley, before meandering by the meadow. It’s a great place to see animals!

Of course we also have ice skating, ice fishing, and plenty of indoor options for you as well, which can be discovered on EnchantedMountains.com, including upcoming events! No matter what you decide to do in the Enchanted Mountains during winter, you will find yourself shouting, “Let it snow!”

People riding snow mobiles banner from Pocket Ranger app

Top 6 Beginner Ice Skating Moves

Have you ever felt in complete awe when watching figure skaters? It’s a wonder how they do all those crazy, fast spins and dangerous axel jumps without getting disoriented. They didn’t learn it overnight, and started out just like the rest us, by the barrier doing penguin steps. After hours and days of practice, ice skaters can master some of these techniques. Ice skating is freeing once you’ve gained confidence and courage on the ice, and are able to learn new moves. If you feel comfortable enough to balance yourself and know how to stop, make your practice fun by learning these top 6 beginner ice skating moves.

Mom and daughter ice skating outdoors near mountains.

Image: www.msn.com

Forward Stroke (or Glide)

It’s recommended that beginners master the swizzle and the one-foot glide before starting the forward stroke. Stroking means moving from one skate to the other. Ice skaters either do a forward or back stroke. Skaters usually begin their session by warming up with one lap of strokes across the ice. Notice when pushing away on one foot, the free leg is extended back.

 

Outside 3 Turn

The outside 3 turn is perfect for those jazzy dance songs! This move means changing direction and edge. When doing the forward outside 3 turn, the skater goes forward on the outside edge and ends on the backwards inside edge. You can also learn the different combinations: forward or backward, left or right foot, and inside or outside edge.

Skate Backwards

While this may look hard for a beginner, the idea is to glide and push backwards. You can start by doing penguin steps backwards to ease you into the move. Begin rocking side to side and pick up speed. Don’t wiggle your bum! Proceed to pushing and transferring your weight from one leg to the other.

Forward & Backward Crossovers

Crossovers are grand, and essential to any figure skating routine. It helps you travel beautifully across the ice. The idea is to generate enough speed to get you around corners both backwards and forwards. Start from the T position and do half swizzles to get some speed before going into the crossovers.

Twizzle

This move may be considered an intermediate move, but if done slow you can master it. If you have experience doing the 3 turns, the twizzle shouldn’t take you long. The twizzle starts off similar to a forward inside 3 turn.

One Foot Spin

The one foot spin is the first spin that most figure skaters attempt. You start off by pushing off into a circle with your arms helping you rotate, and your free leg extending back then coming around. Once your free leg is 45 degrees, lift your knee and keep rotating. Try it on the floor before attempting it on the ice.

While you’re still practicing for jumps and spins, try out an easy bunny hop! And don’t forgot to download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to find winter sports and activities.

Let’s Go Ice Skating!

Who doesn’t love a little ice skating adventure? Some might be afraid to try it, but with this simple guide on how to ice-skate, we think you’ll be ready to give it a go before winter is over!

Skates

White ice skates on ice

Image: dfwhappenings.com

If it’s your first time ice-skating, it is important to get a good pair of skates. Many ice skating rinks rent by the hour or you can just purchase your own if you plan on going year-round to indoor rinks.

Tying Your Skates

An ice skate on a persons foot, showing how it should be tied

Image: icemom.blogspot.com

Make sure your skates are not too tight or your feet will become numb. On the other hand, if your skates are too loose, they will not provide the proper support for your ankles.

Warming Up

Many ice skating locations are outdoors or indoors if it’s not winter. Since it requires freezing temperatures to maintain the ice, the temperature can be fairly chilly and your muscles will probably be cold at the start. Before you get on the ice, it is wise to dress warmly. Don’t forget gloves. To warm up before getting on the ice, start with some bending and work your way up to some stretches. If you jump right into stretches, you might end up injuring yourself, so be cautious.

Skating Lessons

Ice skating lessons on a rink with adults

Image: www.expressandstar.com

There are many ice skating lessons that are offered at most rinks. You can take a few group lessons, which are available for all ages. Or, if you know an experienced skater, they can teach others how to skate!

Don’t Look Down!

Teenagers holding on to each other while ice skating outdoors

Image: imgarcade.com

It is recommended to keep looking up, rather than looking down at your feet to see where you are going. This will help you avoid bumping into other skaters on the ice.

Don’t Lean Backwards

If you are leaning backwards, you might end up falling down all the time. It’s best to keep your knees bent and your weight forward. Hold your arms out in front of you and open them wide to stay balanced.

Stopping

Woman showing how to stop on ice with skates on

Image: figureskating.about.com

This is the most important thing that you should know how to do! To stop, bend your knees, turn the toe of each skate inwards, point your heels out and push out on your heels. Doing this will slow you down and bring you to a stop.

Direction

Ice skating counter clockwise, black and white moving photo

Image: todaysdocument.tumblr.com

If you are ice-skating in a crowded location, it is important to follow the directional rule on the ice, either clockwise or vice-versa. If you skate the wrong way, you can hurt yourself and others.

Falling

Women falling while ice skating

Image: imgkid.com

It is normal to fall a good amount of times before you actually get the hang of ice-skating. Just remember to remain cautious at all times. If you’re still nervous about falling, you can wear knee, elbow or wrist pads and a helmet.

To find ice skating rinks or frozen lakes near you, download your state parks Pocket Ranger® app and search By Activity from our Explore feature!

Remember to check ice conditions on all lakes, ponds, etc. before heading out!

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How to Beat Cabin Fever

Short days, long nights, cold temperatures: This time of year, it may seem easier to just stay indoors and watch TV marathons. We totally get it. But stay indoors for too long, and you’re bound to experience some cabin fever. So find your hat and mittens, pull on your snow boots because we’ve come up with 10 great ways to beat cabin fever and get outdoors!

  1. Make Art


Don’t limit yourself to building snowmen this winter. Use British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy as inspiration; make beautiful yet transient works of art with the nature-made materials that surround you. Goldsworthy uses rocks, ice, leaves, and twigs to create incredibly balanced, outdoor artwork. With a little patience, you can, too!

  1. Make War

Got snow? Beat cabin fever by getting together with family and friends, build multiple fortifications, arm yourselves with an arsenal of snowballs, and let ‘em rip! Seattle, Washington holds the Guinness World Record for the largest snowball fight. On January 12, 2013, 5,834 people gathered in Seattle to take part in the world’s largest snowball fight to date!

  1. Scout

Tracks of bird wings in the snow

Even birds make tracks in the winter. [Image: www.oldnaturalist.com]

Winter creates a whole new landscape, and with that new opportunities to scout for wildlife. Test your tracking skills, and look for signs of wildlife, such as tracks, scat, and nests. If you’re looking to go with a group, some state parks offer guided nature walks. Check out the Events Calendar found in our Pocket Ranger® apps to find nature hikes near you, and use the Photo Waypoint feature to identify and capture your wildlife discoveries. Share your wildlife finds on the free Trophy Case® app!

  1. Skate

Break out the skates, and bid adieu to your cabin fever! You may be a bit rusty that first go-round the rink, but ice skating is something that you can easily pick up. If it’s your first time on the ice, take a skating lesson to get a grip on the basics. Or if you’re ready for some action, get together a pick-up hockey game or test your figure skating skills.

  1. Feed the Birds

Birds have it pretty tough in the winter. Help them out by supplying bird feeders in your backyard. Most birds that winter in colder areas of the country need to eat seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyger, suet, and white millet. And don’t forget the water! Unfrozen water in wintertime can be a godsend for thirsty birds. Share your bird sightings with a likeminded community through our new, free Bird Feed app.

  1. Get Moving

Girl and dog hike in the snowy woods in Vermont getting rid of cabin fever

Don’t forget to bring along Fido! Pets get stir crazy in the wintertime, too. [Image: Thomas DeSisto]

Being active in cold temperatures does your body a world of good. Getting your heart pumping will boost the level of virus-killing cells in your bloodstream, keeping seasonal colds and flus at bay. Doing physical activity in colder temperatures also makes bodies use more energy to keep warm. This translates to burning a whole lot more fat, something we’re all anxious to do post-holidays! There are plenty of ways to stay active outdoors this winter. Hit the slopes and go downhill skiing, snowboarding, or tubing/sledding. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking is a great way to get into the quieter, more remote areas of wilderness. Or, if you’re looking for a new thrill, try your hand at dog mushing or skijoring!

  1. Fish On

Man holds large 29" chain pickerel fish after a day of ice fishing.

Beat the winter blues by spending the day out on the ice! [Image: Jared McGrath]

Bundle up and get out on the ice for a day of ice fishing. While it can be nice to spend some serene hours alone on the lake, ice fishing is most often a social opportunity. Connect with others, catch some fish, and then cook a few up while sharing some warm drinks at a friend’s bobhouse. In mid-winter, ice is often thick enough for snowmobiling. To break up the day, jump on your sled and do a few laps!

  1. Fire It Up

Bonfire? Barbeque? Campfire? Pay no attention to the thermometer and head outdoors to grill up your summer favorites. Invite over friends and family to enjoy a grilled dinner while basking in the warm glow of the campfire. You’ll feel so warm, you might even think it’s the spring and you can kiss that cabin fever goodbye! Remember to pass out the marshmallow sticks for the dessert course, so everyone can make themselves a s’more.

  1. Get Climbing

Ice climbing, that is. Dangerous? A bit. Exciting? Definitely, and it will get you to shake off that cabin fever! Whether it’s scaling a glacier or ascending a frozen waterfall pickaxe in hand, with the right equipment and enough courage, ice climbing lets you see winter from a whole new perspective. Alaska, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Montana have some of the best ice climbing to be had in the U.S.

  1. Polar Plunge


For when you have a really bad case of cabin fever, shock your system back with a polar plunge into a freezing body of water! Dare yourself and a few friends or join an organization that is taking the polar plunge to raise money for a good cause. After all, you only live once!

Winter Fun at the State Parks

There’s no reason to say indoors this January! We’ve found some great winter fun at the state parks that is sure to keep you warm and active outdoors.

Kentucky

Elks stand in the snow at a Kentucky state park

A herd of elk at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park [Image: parks.ky.gov]

Winter is a great time to see wildlife at the Kentucky state parks. Bundle up and bring the binoculars for a Winter Elk Watch at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park. Elk were reintroduced to Kentucky in 1997, after being extinct from the region for 150 years. There are now around 10,000 elk within the state, and many opportunities for sightings. Or visit Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park to partake in The Gathering of the Eagles. For one weekend every year, the park offers visitors the opportunity to see migrating Bald eagles. There are interpretive programs, as well as guided tours by bus and luxury cruise ship.

Nebraska

Learn about winter survival at the Cold Day, Warm Hearts, & Family Fun Day at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. Enjoy fishing and birding activities, and create winter crafts. Make some great family memories while roasting hotdogs and s’mores over an open fire.

Maine

People cross-country ski through the snow in Maine woods

Image: www.forestsformainesfuture.org

With tons of powder, get up to Cobscook Bay State Park for their Winter Family Fun Day! Family-friendly activities will be happening all day long, including sleigh rides, nature walks, skating, and sledding, plus free equipment rentals for those wanting to cross-country ski or snowshoe. Get cozy at the warming station and let the park staff serve you a delicious hot lunch.

Florida

For a night of rousing music under a full moon, come to Myakka River State Park to hear the popular Americana band, Have Gun Will Travel. This band was featured on NPR, and also has their own award-winning craft beer, High Road Ale. Grab your favorite beverage and head to the South Pavilion to see one of the best Americana bands around!

If you’re looking to partake in something a bit quirkier, Koreshan State Historic Site will be hosting the fascinating interpretive program, Archeology of Poop: The Truth Comes Out in the End. Limited to just 90 participants, this program will focus on the archeological study of paleofeces and privy deposits. Participants will also get to try their hand at archeology with a hand-on activity consisting of “replicate” materials found in a historic privy. Make sure to reserve your spot!

New Jersey

A boy learns how to ice fish

Learn how to ice fish! [Image: www.greatfallstribune.com]

The Annual Winter Festival at High Point Park State Park is a celebration of all things snow and ice. Bring the whole family for a day full of winter activities, such as guided hikes, sing-alongs, and winter-themed crafts. There will also be snowshoeing and ice-fishing demonstrations. Take along your Pocket Ranger® app and mark waypoints of places that you’d like to revisit in the spring. Later, help yourself to some complimentary hot cocoa and cookies and warm up by the fire.

Georgia

Hit the trail on horseback to celebrate MLK Day in the winter woodlands. On this guided trail ride at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, a naturalist and wrangler will share tidbits about the natural history of the Pine Mountain Ridge area. President Franklin D. Roosevelt liked to picnic at this park because of its gorgeous hardwoods and pines, creeks, and small waterfalls. Horse rentals are possible through Roosevelt Riding Stables.

Ohio


Want to learn more about dog-sledding? The Siberian Husky Club of Greater Cleveland will be holding an informational afternoon about this thrilling winter activity at Punderson State Park. Visitors can meet working sled dogs and learn more about the Husky breed. See these Huskies in action during the sledding demonstrations.

Pennsylvania

There are so many ways to get outside in Pennsylvania’s state parks this January! The Winterfest at Hills Creek State Park will have sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and skating. There will also be kids crafts, guided hikes, and hot drinks and snacks. Best of all, ski and skate rentals are available and free of charge! The highlight of the Ice-O-Rama event at Lyman Run State Park will be the unveiling of the thought-to-be extinct Giant Ice Shark of Lyman Run. Activities will include sledding, skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoe and ice fishing clinics.  Soup and hot beverages will be available at the event. The Snow Festival at Bendigo State Park includes a snow box derby, winter survival demonstration, and guided tree identification walks. Hot food will be provided by the local scout troops.