Are you contemplating going ice boating this year? If so, you may want to point your boat's bow towards Northern Pennsylvania. The region is home to several ice boating destinations that offer free admission and additional amenities. Here's a brief rundown on a few of them:
Bald Eagle State Park
Centre County's Bald Eagle State Park features a 1,730-acre lake that is suitable for ice boating. The park has several launch sites, one of which is designated for winter use. It is located north of the beach area. It offers access to a fishing pier, restrooms and a picnic area. The park's staff currently does not monitor the lake's ice thickness. As such, ice boaters will want to check the lake's conditions before attempting to access the ice. Ice boaters will also need to obtain a launch permit. Launch permits may be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's website.
Black Moshannon State Park
Centre County's Black Moshannon State Park features a 250-acre lake that is suitable for ice boating. The park is also located near the Moshannon State Forest. There are four boat launch areas located within the confines of the park. The ice thickness is not routinely monitored in the boating area. Therefore, ice boaters should plan accordingly. Ice boaters should also note that a valid launch permit is required. Winter lodging and ice boat rentals are not available onsite. However, the Black Moshannon Lodge is located close to the park. It offers year round accommodations. Hunting, ice fishing and snowmobiling opportunities exist in the area too.
Elk State Park
Elk State Park is located in Elk County. It features a 1,160-acre lake that is suitable for ice boating. There are two boat launches that offer access to East Branch Lake. One is located by the dam. The other is located on Instanter Drive. The Instanter Drive location features a picnic area and restrooms. The launch located by the dam features restrooms and a picnic pavilion. There are no ice boat rental facilities located within the park. Therefore, ice boaters should bring their own boats and sundries. A launch permit is required. Information about obtaining a launch permit in Elk County is available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's website. The lake's ice thickness is periodically monitored. When available, it is posted on the park's website. The Elk State Forest and State Game Land 25 are also located nearby. Ice fishing and hunting opportunities are available.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
More from this contributor: