About Nature Tourism
About This Project
Contact Info

 - Mountain Biking

 - Smooth Trails
 - Bike Shops
Birding, Wildlife
Environmental Education
Forests, Forestry
Hiking, Backpacking
Historic Sites, Museums
Hunting, Fishing
 - Lakes
 - Rivers and Streams
 - Outfitters
Sustainable Development
Wildlife Art, Galleries
Winter Activities

Local Weather
Area Maps
County Web Pages
Cross country skier
Winter Activities

Each fall, northwest Pennsylvania begins to settle in for another white and wonderful winter. Northwest Pennsylvania is accustomed to cold and snowy winters. The region is located in the Lake Erie Snowbelt, and cold blustery winds from across the great lakes create wintery lake effect snowfall.

Winter conditions in northwest Pennsylvania create an inviting atmosphere for outdoor recreation, including cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ice fishing and hunting, and winter hiking and camping. Listed below are some of the more popular outdoor winter activities in northwest Pennsylvania. We hope to see you between the snowflakes.


Winter Activities


Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skier

One of the best ways to see the winter landscape of northwest Pennsylvania is by cross country skiing. There are numerous specified trails throughout the region, and many areas that are not designated cross country trails that can be skied (e.g. hiking trails and logging roads). Cross country skiing is also very good exercise and has little or no impact on the environment.

State Parks:

Some of the best local areas to cross country ski are State Parks, which have designated trails and convenient facilities and access.

Additional information...
Cross Country Skiing in State Parks

Allegheny National Forest:

Another great resource for cross country skiing is the Allegheny National Forest.

Additional information...
Cross Country Skiing in the National Forest

Forest County:

Forest County understands the importance of cross country skiing and has even dedicated a page to it.

Additional information...
Cross Country Skiing in Forest County

Toggenburg Valley:

Located in the borough of Woodcock, 7 miles north of Meadville, Toggenburg Valley offers the chance to cross country ski through some of the most beautiful local scenery.

Back to winter activities

Downhill Skiing
Downhill skier

Though northwest Pennsylvania is not especially well known for its downhill skiing because it lacks large mountains, there are still many downhill ski slopes within the region.

Mountain View:

Located in Edinboro, this is a perfect slope for the beginning skier or those just wanting to get out in the winter weather and have a good time. Mountain View has three ski lifts and provides opportunities for downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Lift prices are very reasonable.

Additional information...
Mountain View
(814) 734-1641

Peek'n Peak Ski Resort:

Located just across the border in Findley Lake, New York, Peek'n Peak is no more than a moderate drive from anywhere in northwest Pennsylvania. Offering 27 slopes and numerous cross country trails with all of the amenities of a resort and conference center, Peek'n Peak is one of the premiere slopes in close proximity to the region.

Additional information...
Peek'n Peak

Ski Resorts in Western Pennsylvania
Back to winter activities
Ice Fishing and Winter Hunting

Ice Fishing:

Though the thought of sitting out in the elements battered by cold, wind, and snow seems like lunacy to many people, these are perfect conditions for the avid ice fisherman. When temperatures drop and the water freezes, these devoted souls are out in force, chopping holes through the ice and dropping a number of different baits into the water, hoping for that monster catch. Surprisingly, ice fishing often produces excellent results.

Ice fishing can be done on nearly any place that regular warm weather fishing occurs, provided that the ice is thick enough and conditions are not too extreme. Most of the State Parks in the area permit ice fishing.

Additional information...
Ice Fishing in State Parks

Water Resources in northwest Pennsylvania


Following proper guidelines when ice fishing is very important due to the cold weather conditions and possible safety concerns.

Additional information...
Ice fishing procedures and safety


Another popular activity that takes place during the fall and winter in northwest Pennsylvania is hunting. From late season rifle and muzzleloader to second season archery and small game, all sorts of hunting is in season during the winter months.

Additional information...
Hunting areas and links

PA Game Commission

Back to winter activities

Winter Backpacking and Hiking

Winter backpacking and hiking is a dimension of winter recreation that is often unexplored. Though some of the least crowded and most beautiful sites can be viewed during the winter months, people are often intimidated by the cold and snow. In most cases, trails are still suitable for short hikes or extended trips depending on the amount of snowfall and predicted conditions.

Additional information...
Trails in northwest Pennsylvania


One should be well aware that winter weather can be unpredictable and conditions should never be underestimated. Winter backpacking and hiking require proper clothing and equipment, as well as experience with cold weather conditions. Remember that cold can create a possible life-threatening condition and should be taken seriously.

Additional information...
Hypothermia and other cold weather dangers

Back to winter activities

Winter Activities Links
Cross Country Skiing Links:
Downhill Skiing Links:
Ice Fishing Links:
Hiking and Backpacking Links:
Other Links: