2053 Route 660
Wellsboro, PA 16901
www.visittiogapa.comLocated in Tioga State Forest, Pine Creek Gorge, known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, is surrounded by 165,000 acres of forest land. With a maximum depth of 1,450 feet, the canyon runs for 47 miles, beginning south of Ansonia and ending near Waterville. Enjoy scenic overlooks at Leonard Harrison and Colton State Parks. Turkey Path in Leonard Harrison State Park meanders past a number of waterfalls. Tioga State Forest is open year round, and some (but not all!) of the campgrounds in the area operate during winter. Austin Campground, located near Austin, Pa., is one that’s open during the winter. Rates start at $25 a day, and long-term rates are available.
Related: Top Adaptive Skiing Programs
3401 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
www.ems.comWhen selecting your gear, remember that winter camping and summer camping are different experiences that require different equipment and skills. It’s not just a matter of wearing extra clothing layers to keep out the cold. Beginners are advised to make their backyard their first winter camping destination. Cold temperatures tax the body more than heat. In both cases, staying hydrated is absolutely essential. Eastern Mountain Sports, located near the University of Pennsylvania, offers cold-weather equipment from The North Face, EMS Boreal and others. It also offers a full line of other camping, climbing and winter sports equipment.
200 W. Ridge Pike Suite 115
Conshohocken, PA 19428
www.rei.comA national, full-service outdoor gear supplier and co-op, REI designs and sells its own line of products. From climbing gear to winter camping essentials, the store also offers in-house training schools. In November, for example, REI, in conjunction with the Wilderness Medicine Institute, offered comprehensive two-day wilderness medical training. Students received a National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Aid Certification. Plus, the course may be used for re-certification as a wilderness first responder and wilderness EMT, or in advanced wilderness first aid. REI also offers classes such as Introduction to Cold-weather Running and GPS Navigation Basics throughout the year. Be sure to ask about membership and the store’s amazing return policy on all of your gear.
1006 Route 209
Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328
www.dingmanscampground.comPrices: from $40 for up to four campers
Just a two-hour drive of Philadelphia, Dingmans Campground sits in the middle of the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. During winter, the national park is a favorite destination for cross-county skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, ice skating, ice fishing and winter camping. The campground sits on a relatively flat meadow, and the perfect place for cross country skiing for beginners is on its loop trail. Nearby, more experienced skiers may enjoy the challenge of miles of ski trails that overlook the Delaware River, such as the McDade Recreational Trail. Many of the waterfalls in the area freeze during the winter, offering spectacular winter hiking, ice climbing and photography opportunities. About 15 miles away, Shawnee Mountain offers skiing and snowboarding, while Fernwood Resort offers snow tubing.
1100 Pine Grove Road
Gardners, PA 17324
www.dcnr.state.pa.usPrices: from $20 per night for a rustic cabin
Pine Grove Furnace State Park sits near the Appalachian Trail in Michaux State Forest, not too far from historic Gettysburg. A 696-acre state park, Furnace State Park is part of a chain of state forests and parks situated throughout the south mountain area of the Appalachians. Offering both outdoor and historic attractions, Pine Grove Furnace State Park and other nearby parks feature hunting, fishing, ice fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating opportunities, all weather permitting. Within a half-hour drive, there are two ski resorts: Ski Liberty at Carroll Valley and Ski Roundtop at Lewisberry. For those interested in history, the Gettysburg National Military Park is also about a half-hour drive from the state park.