My husband and I attended college in Wisconsin, lived briefly in Florida, and have visited many other states. While Colorado is gorgeous and I was awed by the Rockies, I can still say that home is where my heart is. I love Pennsylvania. Each season brings unique delights for those who are keen to find them. Winter is no exception. There is a reason that Walking in a Winter Wonderland was inspired by a little PA town.
While the list of must see places in Pennsylvania could be longer than Santa’s Nice List, I’m sticking to places where you can enjoy outdoor time and are fairly well known. Many of these places are on my TBV (to be visited) list.
1 McConnells Mill State Park
The park has four trails where you can hike or snowshoe among snow and ice covered trees. You can also kayak on the river in winter.
The major land formation in the park is Slippery Rock Creek Gorge which has National Natural Landmark status. According to the National Park Service, that means an area should be conserved for its outstanding biological and geological resources.
For hiking families, McConnells Mill offers gorgeous views all year, but especially in winter. The park is located at 1761 McConnells Mill Rd. Portersville.
2 Valley Forge National Historical Park
George Washington’s Continental Army made its famous winter encampment of 1777 here. I’ve mentioned before that I love to combine educational activities with our outdoor time. The park is open year-round so you can get a taste of what the soldiers experienced while hiking along some of the 30 miles of trails.
Sprawling over 3500 acres the park encompasses monuments, woodlands, and meadows in honor of the incredible resolve of the Continental Army during extreme adversity. Taking in the sight of those woods and meadows covered in a blanket of snow will bring you closer to seeing the valley the way those soldiers saw it. VFNHP is located at 1400 N Outer Line Dr. King of Prussia.
3 Ohiopyle State Park
I’ve seen tons of people post in the Rail Trail Facebook group about Ohiopyle. It seems to me that the whole area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. It has the state park and plenty of trails around the area.
The park has 33 miles of cross-country skiing trails. You can also hike to see Cucumber Falls and Ohiopyle Falls. In late winter they freeze into crystalline works of natural art. Sounds like a site worth seeing! Find Ohiopyle State Park at 124 Main St. Ohiopyle.
4 Delaware State Forest
Don’t let the name confuse you. The Delaware State Forest occupies 84,000 acres of land over four counties in Pennsylvania. Pristine forests are perfect for winter hiking and snowshoeing. There are places to cross-country ski also. Find glacial lakes and forest scenery ubiquitous to the Pocono area.
Two networks of trails to check out are the Blooming Grove 4-H Hiking Trail and the Thunder Swamp Trail System. The 4-H trail has two loop trails that encircle hardwood swamps and a meadow. You’re welcome to snowshoe there in winter. The trailhead is west of Route 402 half a mile south of US 6 in Hawley.
5 Pine Creek Gorge
More commonly known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, it rests between Leonard Harrison and Colton Point State Parks. While some of the trails may be closed in winter due to icy conditions, winter is the least crowded time of year to visit this gem in Tioga county.
If you visit these places, we would love to see your photos. Tag us on Instagram @trailfamilylife.