Outdoor Fun Activities in the winter in south central PA

Winter is a great time to be outdoors. If you are a skier, you already know how fresh the air is and how invigorating the cold weather can be. But you don’t have to be a skier to enjoy outdoor activities in the winter. If you like to walk, then this is a great season for getting outside and getting some fresh air!

Several state parks in our area are presenting wonderful winter walks, hikes, and educational adventures.

Gifford Pinchot State Park (a favorite kayaking spot for me in the summer!) features a Winter Walk program two times per month in February and March. This easy to moderate walk in the park is led by the park naturalist. The participants will explore the trails in the Conewago Day Use are looking for special winter tolerant plants and signs of animals in the area.

At King’s Gap State Park, on February 19, 2017, learn about Skunk Cabbage – an odorous winter-tolerant plant. The 1-2 mile hike will take place on mostly flat trails and dogs on leash are also welcome. The hike departs from Pine Plantation Parking Area at 1:00 pm.

At Wildwood Park, you can join the Great Backyard Bird Count! The Appalachian Audubon Society and the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation will give instructions on what to look for and how to document birds sited. You can be part of the citizen science program. This special learning experience happens on February 18, 2017 at Olewine Nature Center fro 10:00am to 4:00 pm. Registration is requested.

If you want a night-time winter experience, go to the Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art for Cruisin’ the Cosmos: Winter Star Party! On Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 7:30pm. Bring your telescope if you have one but if not, the Star Party leaders will have theirs there to use and the leaders will help you see the stars. The program will happen even if it’s cloudy. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged but it’s free to attend!

Stay in one of our comfortable rooms after you return from a winter walk or winter stargazing.