We love winter in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands. Like really, really love it. So when the temperatures dip, the local meteorologists start throwing around the S-word, and our phones keep dinging with weather advisories, we get giddy. After all, humans weren’t meant to hibernate. While winter sports are really popular in the region, downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't for everybody. Check out these cool winter activities to keep you busy and having fun this winter. Be sure to personally check in with any and all sites for the most up-to-date information and health and safety protocols.
Rent a Cabin and Relax with Your Loved One
Winter is the perfect time to escape to the Laurel Highlands, even if you don't like the snow! Rent a cozy cabin or cottage that is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Spend a night or weekend relaxing in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa or a hot toddy, watching the snow fall with your significant other or family.
Kids or no kids, this is the nostalgia we all need in our lives. While any snowy hill does the trick, there are several areas designated for sledding in Laurel Highlands parks that will take sledding trips to the next level! Check out these four parks where you can enjoy snow day fun.
Support Local Small Businesses
One of the best ways to get out of the cold and warm yourself up is with a little shopping. Check out all of the incredible shops throughout the Laurel Highlands, and don’t forget to get a gift for yourself while you’re shopping for loved ones!
Go Snow Tubing
If you're not a skier or snowboarder, you can still participate in the fun at ski resorts! There are three snow tubing parks in the Laurel Highlands: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley Resort, and Nemacolin. With fast-paced runs down the slippery chutes and a quick lift to the top, snow tubing makes for a great date night or a winter family adventure.
Even if you’re not into downhill skiing, don’t cross off cross-country skiing from your list without giving it a try first. This fun sport is less about the thrill of gravity as you schuss down the slopes and more about gliding, almost like an ice skater. Added bonus – it’s an amazing workout! Start small at the beginner-friendly trails in Kooser State Park or go for the full adventure on the North Woods Trail in Forbes State Forest.
If you enjoy hiking, snowshoeing may be a match for you! Bring your own or rent a pair and head to the trails in Laurel Highlands' local and state parks. Spend the day enjoying the crisp mountain air and soaking in incredible views. Snowshoeing can be done on just about every hiking trail, with a little natural snow, of course!
Take a Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride
Sit back and glide through the snow on a relaxing sleigh ride through the Laurel Highlands! The snow-covered trails, beautiful views, and towering evergreens will make your ride through the winter wonderland unique and magical.
Experience Dog Sledding
Dog sledding at Nemacolin is a must-do winter activity! 24 Alaskan huskies will lead your sled through the snow at up to 20 miles per hour with the Laurel Highlands' picturesque landscapes zooming past you. Your guide will teach you the basics of controlling the sled and voice signals to direct the dogs.