Southern Pennsylvania’s Best State Parks for Outdoor Ice Skating

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When it comes to winter sports and recreation, Southern Pennsylvania has a lot to offer families on a budget. Many of the state's parks are open during the winter months. The parks are often devoid of entrance fees and offer superlative opportunities for ice skating. With that said, here's a quick look at a few great places to go skate:

Codorus State Park

Codorus State Park features a 1,275-acre lake that is ideal for ice skating. The park is located in York County. Families wishing to ice skate there should head towards the Chapel Cove area with their own ice skates. One of the best things about this park is that the ice conditions are traditionally monitored in the ice skating area. In addition, the ice skating area is typically lit up at night. Therefore, an evening ice skating session is not out of the question. Picnic tables and charcoal grills are available too. Thus, families may opt to create their own warming areas. Restrooms are available onsite as well.

Cowan's Gap State Park

Cowan's Gap State Park is located in Fulton County. It features a 42-acre lake with a designated ice skating area located near the beach. The park's staff usually monitors the ice conditions. There are stone fireplaces, charcoal grills and picnic tables available. I'd suggest that families try and snag Pavilion 2. It is located near the ice skating area and restrooms. It also features a stone fireplace that may be used for warming purposes. Ice skate rentals are not available onsite. Other activities onsite include cross-country skiing and ice fishing.

Little Buffalo State Park

Little Buffalo State Park features an 88-acre lake. It is located in Perry County. Three things make this a great spot for ice skating. First, the ice conditions are monitored. Second, the restrooms are heated. Hence, families have an impromptu spot to warm up in between skating sessions. Third, the skating area is often open well into the evening hours. Families wishing to skate should bring their own gear and head towards the boat launch located on the lake's east end. Restrooms and picnic tables are available onsite.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Pine Grove Furnace State Park is located in Cumberland County. It features two lakes, only one of which is suitable for ice skating. The ice skating area is located near the Laurel Lake boat launch. Picnic tables, charcoal grills and restrooms are available. Other winter activities on offer include snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.

More from this contributor:

Top 5 Reasons to Take Your Family Ice Skating

Top 5 Outdoor Ice Skating Safety Tips for Parents

Top 5 Features to Look for When Buying a Pair of Ice Skates

Dressing for Indoor Ice Skating Sessions: What Beginners Need to Know

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