By: Billy Dixon, Communications Intern
Did you know that snowshoeing has become one of the fastest growing winter sports in the world? It’s no wonder. It’s easy to learn, inexpensive, poses little risk of injury, and it’s a fantastic workout (burning more than 600 calories per hour)! So strap on your snowshoes and get out to explore some fresh powder and snow-covered trees this winter at the following western Pennsylvania locations. We’ve ordered these spots by their proximity to Pittsburgh.
Raccoon Creek State Park (32mi) Most trails are open to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing; however, it is recommended that you avoid trails rated ‘difficult.’ Raccoon Creek loans snowshoes. Click here to learn more about this park’s location, history, hours, and amenities!
Moraine State Park (41mi) The Pleasant Valley and Sunken Garden trails have been improved and connect to provide six miles of trails. The trails are marked with yellow and pink and are suitable for all skill levels. Click here to learn more!
Jennings Environmental Education Center (52mi) Snowshoeing is very popular here, and Jennings loans snowshoes from Monday through Saturday when there is adequate snow cover. Click here to learn more!
Kooser State Park (59mi) In the heart of the Laurel Highlands sitting at 2,600 feet, Kooser State Park attracts visitors to its 250 acres of forest where elevation and heavy snowfall create prime conditions for snowshoeing. Click here to learn more!
Yellow Creek State Park (62mi) While no special area or trail system has been developed for snowshoeing, the park has many opportunities for snowshoers of all levels and experiences. Trails, open fields, forested areas, and abandoned roads may all be used for exploring the park in winter. Click here to learn more!
Forbes State Forest (68mi) In recent years snowshoeing has been gaining in popularity in the Forbes State Forest. Snowshoers can travel the many trails in the forest or walk overland. For safety of both users, stay off the snowmobile trails. Click here to learn more!
Ohiopyle State Park (72mi) There are 33.9 miles of trails recommended for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. With deep snowfall, the Great Allegheny Passage is great for snowshoeing. Click here to learn more!
Laurel Ridge State Park (73mi) Laurel Ridge State Park has 35 miles of trails available and is located on one of the highest mountain ridges in the Laurel Highlands region. Click here to learn more!
Clear Creek State Park (93mi) Snowshoeing is permitted on all trails. Cross-country skiing is recommended on selected trails on the map. Click here to learn more!
Cook Forest State Park (94mi) With 29 miles of hiking trails, snowshoeing is permitted on all trails. Cook Forest has three groomed trails: Fire Tower Road, Toms Run Road, and part of Forest Drive. Click here to learn more!
Be sure to always use proper etiquette when snowshoeing on cross-country skiing trails. Stay out of ski tracks and remember that skiers have the right of the way on the trails. Happy snowshoeing!