Finding a Place - No Sweat!
The Pocono Mountains offer no shortage of exciting winter activities and cross country skiing tops them all when you consider the benefits. Cross Country skiing provides breathtaking scenery, it’s fun, safe, affordable and something the entire family, regardless of age or athletic ability can enjoy. And although you may not be counting calories on vacation, why not burn 500 to 1,000 per hour on the trails?
With seven state parks and over 2400 square miles of mountains, lakes, streams and woodlands, the question becomes, where to go? Here are a few options.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skiing
Hickory Run State Park- Carbon County, White Haven, PA offers cross country skiing in addition to snowmobiling and ice skating. You can ski free of charge along their thirteen miles of designated trails from sunrise to sunset. They're open all year, but call (570) 443-0400 for weather conditions and reservations.
Promised Land State Park- Pike County situated on the Plateau of the Poconos offers cross country skiing on just about every trail, however the Bruce Lake Natural Area provides the best cross country skiing. You should check out Kleinshans Trails and Panther swamp Trails as well. Visit www.DiscoverPikePA.com for trail lengths and other specifics.
Gouldsboro State Park Monroe and Wayne Counties offers cross country skiing on Prospect Rock and Old Route 611 Trails. The former has some very rocky areas whereas the latter trail is easier, shorter and better for beginners.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, DCNR, provides full information on all the state parks in the Poconos, including details of cross country venues as well as info on camping and lodging, so visit them at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
And speaking of lodging, a couple of decent places to park your poles are The Sterling Inn and its sister resort, French Manor Inn, both located in Sterling, PA. At the Sterling Inn you can cross country ski on site with rental equipment available. Centrally located in the Poconos and only a five to thirty- minute drive to the seven state parks, both inns suit the cross country skier, not to mention amenities such as fine dining, massage, fire places and Victorian suites. For details on The Sterling or French Manor Inns visit www.thesterlinginn.com or www.thefrenchmanor.com respectively.
No matter your age, athletic ability or pocketbook size, cross country skiing the Poconos has something to offer you. Make this destination your winter home away from home.
- Jude Pedersen