A perfect winter adventure is just a snowfall away! If you have always wanted to add snowshoeing to your winter roster, then now just might be the perfect time. Grab your coat, hat, gloves, and snowshoes for a picturesque stroll through these 19 whimsical wonderlands this winter.
1. Laurel Hill State Park
With more than 4,000 acres of mountainous terrain and the gorgeous 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake centerpiece, Laurel Hill State Park is the perfect place to put your snowshoeing skills to the test. Nearly all park trails are snowshoe friendly; you simply need Mother Nature to cooperate with a beautiful blanket of snow.
2. Parker Dam State Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a winter snowshoeing retreat at Parker Dam State Park where miles of untapped beauty await. An outdoor adventure is never complete without wildlife sightings, so don’t forget your camera to capture greeting card-worthy content.
3. Knox & Kane Rail Trail
As a fun, family-friendly outdoor activity, snowshoeing allows for fresh air and exercise even in the middle of winter. At the Knox & Kane Rail Trail you’ll find 3.89-miles of crushed limestone trail open for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. The Kane section sprawls across 4.5 miles from Mile 57 at Old Mill Road to beyond Mile 61 to SR6 near the Country Club.
4. Asbury Woods
Next up on your snowshoeing adventure list is Asbury Woods, with its 4.5 miles of trails ranging from easy to moderate to challenging terrain. The wintry beauty of Mother Nature is on full display throughout the 216-acre woodland paradise. Snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals are available for rent when there is at least 6 inches of snow on the trails and if you’re new to the sport, Asbury Woods also offers snowshoe clinics.
5. Jennings Environmental Education Center
Jennings Environmental Education Center, Moraine State Park, and the Butler Freeport Community Trail are all perfect locations for snowshoeing fun whenever western PA is blessed with a blanket of white. Offering complementary rentals, visitors at Jennings can borrow snowshoes from the park office if at least 4 inches of snow has fallen to explore this winter wonderland.
6. Swatara State Park
Swatara State Park offers 18.2 miles of hiking trails for all skill levels, including the 10-mile Swatara Rail Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail, and local favorite Bear Hole Trail. The greatest treasure along the 5.5-mile Bear Hole Trail is the historic Bordner Cabin along the stunning Aycrigg’s Waterfall. With so many different trails, snowshoers will be sure to get their winter exercise in while taking in the winter wonderland views.
7. Lebanon Valley Rail Trail
The Lebanon Valley Rail Trail is simply brimming with the area’s social and economic history. Created from the former Cornwall-Lebanon Railroad built by Robert H. Coleman in the 1880s, the trail is ideal for visitors of all ages and abilities. Discover Mt. Gretna and surrounding areas along the route or start your trek from Downtown Lebanon and step into the trail’s rolling countryside.
8. Pine Creek Trail
When winter visits Pennsylvania's northern tier, the spectacular scenery along the 62-mile Pine Creek Trail is the perfect backdrop for a day of snowshoeing fun. This popular trail running along the floor of the famous Pine Creek Gorge offers winter sports enthusiasts some of the best trails in the region.
9. D & H Rail-Trail
Travel through the beautiful Endless Mountains of northeastern PA on the 38-mile D&H Rail Trail connecting the town of Simpson to the New York state border. This well-maintained trail offers some of the most scenic recreational lands in the commonwealth. Grab your snowshoes, winter boots, poles, and layer up and you’re on your way! Be sure to check the website before you go for any trail closures.
10. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle
As winter creeps in, Mother Nature magically transforms Bald Eagle State Park into a land filled with beauty and woodland wonder. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle offers guests complimentary snowshoes and cross-country skis — perfect for exploring the Park's 14.5-miles of snowy trails. Looking for a more fast-paced thrill? There’s also an intermediate level sledding and tobogganing hill by the Inn sure to thrill enthusiasts of any age.
11. Laurel Ridge State Park
Follow the yellow-blazes of Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail at Laurel Ridge State Park for a challenging, backcountry snowshoe adventure deep in the woods. You'll be rewarded with breathtaking views and stunning natural beauty as you trek along the beautiful mountain ridges. Snowshoers can explore segments of the trail or the most intrepid can pack their winter gear for a multi-day journey of the entire trail.
Located on one of the highest mountain ridges in the Laurel Highlands, the Laurel Ridge XC Ski Center at Laurel Ridge State Park offers a variety of groomed terrain for snowshoers and cross-country skiers of all abilities. Trail passes are required for a small fee and equipment is available to rent for those new to the sport.
12. Hickory Run State Park
With more than 40 miles of hiking trails, snowshoers will be sure to fall in love with Hickory Run State Park. Feel free to explore the fire tower and stream-side trails while enjoying expansive views of the Pocono Mountains and the Lehigh River.
13. Pinchot Trail
If you’re looking for a path fit for beginner snowshoers, the Pinchot Trail at Pinchot State Forest is perfect for you. The south loop of the Pinchot Trail is a fairly easy path perfect for snowshoeing and filled with great scenery and diversity.
14. Heritage Rail Trail
The 21.5-mile Heritage Rail Trail is a popular destination for snowshoeing. The two best sections with no road crossing interruptions are Glatfelter Station to Howard Tunnel and Brillhart Station to Howard Tunnel. Both sections are flat, scenic, and great for beginners. Please note: The Northern Central Railway (previously known as Steam into History) excursion train is using the railroad tracks along the rail trail from New Freedom to the Hanover Junction Train Station.
15. Quehanna Trail
For a true backcountry wilderness experience, it doesn't get much better than the Quehanna Trail. This nearly 75-mile trail will take adventurers deep within the beautiful Moshannon and Elk State Forests. Bonus tip, dogs are permitted to join on the journey, as long as they’re on a leash!
16. Chuck Keiper Trail
Take in breathtaking views as you wind through several wild and natural areas of the 53-mile Chuck Keiper Trail in Sproul State Forest. The trail is lightly used and goes through some of the wildest and most visually striking public lands in Pennsylvania, offering remarkable solitude.
17. Promised Land State Park
There are approximately 50 miles of hiking trails in Promised Land State Park and the surrounding Delaware State Forest, which allows for splendid opportunities to study, relax and explore in Mother Nature’s winter wonderland. The Bruce Lake Natural Area focuses on non-motorized, non-equine, and non-bicycle travel. The trails are not groomed and offer snowshoe enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the forest's beauty on a marked trail system.
18. Black Forest Trail
The Black Forest Trail is a true wilderness trail deep within the Tioga and Tiadaghton State Forests. The rugged trail encompasses many vistas as it winds up to heights overlooking Slate Run, Morris Run, Big Dam Hollow, Naval Run, and Pine Creek. There are many steep climbs, but the views are well worth the effort.
19. Sinnemahoning State Park
Sinnemahoning State Park offers a variety of programs throughout the winter to enhance the experience of exploring five miles of beautiful scenic trails by snowshoe. Keep your eye out for bald eagles, elk, and bobcats as you nestle yourself into the park’s outstanding wildlife habitat.
For more hiking trails in Pennsylvania, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.