Southern Pennsylvania is a wonderful place to visit in the winter. For starters, it is home to miles of snowshoeing trails. Many of the region's trails are located within the state's park system. The parks tend to open daily, offer free admission and opportunities for engaging in additional activities. With that said, here's a quick rundown on five of the region's greatest snowshoeing spots:
Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area
Dauphin County's Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area offers visitors access to 6.6 miles of snowshoeing trails and restrooms. It also offers access to the Peters Mountain area and the Appalachian Trail. There are no snowshoe rentals or lodging opportunities onsite. However, there is a Bass Pro Shops and overnight accommodations available in Harrisburg. Routes to consider exploring are the 1.1 mile long Evergreen Trail and the 0.9 mile long Old Sawmill Trail.
Gifford Pinchot State Park
York County's Gifford Pinchot State Park features 18 miles of trails that may be used for snowshoeing. Year round cabin rentals, restrooms and picnic areas are also available onsite. Routes to consider taking include the 1.2 mile long Gravel Trail and the 1.7 mile long Quaker Race Trail. Visitors should bring their own snowshoes. There are several sports stores located in York where you can pick up some supplies. They include Gander Mountain and Dick's Sporting Goods.
Shawnee State Park
Bedford County's Shawnee State Park features 16 miles of snowshoeing trails. Restrooms, vending machines and picnic areas are located on premise too. I'd recommend that visitors consider exploring the Lakeshore Trail and the Shawnee Trail. Snowshoe rentals are not available onsite. Juniata Trading Company in nearby Everett sells some sporting goods.
Blue Knob State Park
Bedford County's Blue Knob State Park features 18 miles of snowshoeing trails, year round lodging and picnic areas. The Blue Knob All Season Resort is also located onsite. The resort is home to a ski shop that sells winter apparel. Snowshoe rentals are not available onsite. Paths to contemplate exploring include the 2 mile long Three Springs Trail and the 1.8 mile long Homestead Trail.
Little Buffalo State Park
Perry County's Little Buffalo State Park features 8 miles of trails that are suitable for snowshoeing. Year round cabin rentals, restrooms and picnic areas are available. I'd recommend visiting in December during the park's Annual Christmas Walk Program. It offers an opportunity to enjoy a holiday lights display, refreshments and musical entertainment. Snowshoe rentals and sundries are not available on premise. There is, however, a Bass Pro Shops located in Harrisburg.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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