Are you planning a trip to Southern Pennsylvania this winter? If so, you may want to consider doing a bit of cross-country skiing while you are there. Based on my experience, there are several spots in the region that offer superlative opportunities for cross-country skiing. Here's a quick rundown on five of them:
Blue Knob State Park
Blue Knob State Park is located in Bedford County. It features several miles of cross-country skiing trails. In my opinion, one of the best routes is the 26 mile long Lost Turkey Trail. However, it is not for the faint of heart. The trail is strenuous and steep in spots. Skiers should bring plenty of potable water and dress for extreme temperatures. Cross-country skis may be rented at the Blue Knob Resort. Area highlights include the Blue Knob Fire Tower and the Cox Children Monument.
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area is located in Dauphin County. It features more than 10 miles of cross-country skiing trails. I'd suggest that casual skiers consider taking the 1.1 mile long Lower Spring Trail or the 0.9 mile long Coach Trail. I would also recommend that skiers wear hunters' orange clothing because sportsmen use the area as well.
Gifford Pinchot State Park
Gifford Pinchot State Park is located in York County. It features more than 15 miles of winter trails, many of which are suitable for cross-country skiers. I'd recommend that casual skiers consider exploring the 0.5 mile long Alpine Trail and the 8.5 mile long Lakeside Trail. The Lakeside Trail is nice because it includes views of Pinchot Lake.
Codorus State Park
Cordorus State Park is located in York County. It offers more than 5 miles of cross-country skiing trails. Skiers should consider exploring the 6.5 mile long Mountain Biking Trail. It is moderately strenuous in spots. Skiers will also want to make sure that they wear hunters' orange clothing and bring an adequate amount of potable water with them. Other park highlights include views of Lake Marburg, a sledding area and opportunities for ice skating.
Little Buffalo State Park
Little Buffalo State Park is located in Perry County. It offers more than 5 miles of cross-country skiing trails. One of the best times to visit is in December when the park's picnic area is decorated for the holidays. Paths to consider exploring are the 2.5 mile long Little Buffalo Creek Trail and the 1 mile long Fisherman's Trail. Additional park highlights include views of Little Buffalo Creek and Holman Lake.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
More from this contributor:
- Nature & Environment
- Travel & Tourism
- Blue Knob State Park