When winter arrives, most of us head indoors to escape the cold PA weather and snowy conditions. Yet, there are just as many people who break out their skis, snowboards and sleds to get out there and make the most of their winter wonderland!
While those three activities are some of the most popular snow sports PA residents enjoy each winter, there are plenty of other snow sports and activities that you can enjoy, too. Some of them may not be familiar to you. Others may be on your list but you haven’t experienced them yet. All of them can be enjoyed in most of your local Pennsylvania parks.
Snowshoeing in Pennsylvania has become extremely popular in the past few years. That’s because the walking trails and fields in your local parks provide awesome opportunities for snowshoeing when the conditions are right!
This low-cost activity (most snowshoes cost $50-$100) is the perfect way for you to explore local parks’ landscapes, enjoy a great cardiovascular workout, and improve your overall well being during a time when most folks are cooped up indoors. Plus, snowshoes are less harmful to the park environment as they do not crush vegetation that’s buried deep beneath the snow.
If you think you can’t enjoy local park bike trails in the winter, then you haven’t been introduced to fat biking. The origins of this innovative approach to biking during snowy conditions can be traced back to Alaska. In order to bicycle over wintery terrain, Alaska residents outfitted their mountain bikes with extra wide tires for greater stability and traction. Over the years, this trend has caught on in the U.S. and in Europe. As a matter of fact, the trail at Erie PA’s Wintergreen Gorge was recently named as one of the best places for biking in the snow!
You’ve seen it during the Winter Olympics, but have you ever enjoyed curling in your local park? One of the oldest team sports in the world, curling originated in 16-century Scotland.
Here’s how it’s played. Using brooms, the players of one team sweep the ice in front of a large stone. This is done to create a path for the stone to slide more easily and reach its intended target to earn points. Although it sounds fairly simple, this sport is actually quite complex. Clearing a strong path for maximum stone sliding involves a great deal of skill, strategy and stamina (all of that sweeping takes a lot of upper arm strength not to mention balance).
Ok, this one isn’t really a snow sport, per se. But you’ll be able to enjoy a snowy good time in your local park and get some exercise while you’re at it. Plus, it’s an activity that can be enjoyed by PA residents of all ages. When your local park is buried in snow and ice, it’s the perfect opportunity to put all of your home improvement knowledge (and LEGO building skills) to practice building your own igloo. Then, after you’re done, you can crack open your thermos and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate and watch the winter sunset.
Not only is igloo building a fun activity, it’s actually a very useful skill to hone. If you’re ever stranded outside in the snow, you can build an igloo to use as temporary shelter.
So if you’re looking to spend more time outdoors this winter (even when snow has covered your town), head on over to your local park and enjoy one of these uncommon snow sports and activities!
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