Escape to the North Pole without ever leaving the state when you visit these 11 majestic spots in Pennsylvania that will make you feel like you’re in the land of Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick. Don’t forget to take your camera with you on your breathtaking journey to tiny towns, nature preserves, and sprawling parks.
1. Eagles Mere
The picturesque tiny town of Eagles Mere beckons visitors with its quaint charm. During the winter, thrill seekers trek to the top of Lake Avenue to zip down an icy hill on a toboggan, a tradition in the town since 1904.
2. Powdermill Nature Reserve – 1847 PA-381, Rector, PA 15677
Lace up your hiking boots and hit the snow-covered trails at Powdermill Nature Reserve, a branch of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Hiking trails are open from dawn to dusk all year around while the Nature Center, which welcomes visitors, has seasonal hours.
3. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary – 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA
Pack your binoculars and bundle up when you visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a winter wonderland after a snowfall. The more than 2,500 acre sanctuary features scenic overlooks and more than eight miles of hiking trails, which are open all year around.
4. Gettysburg National Military Park – 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Gettysburg National Military Park, hallowed ground in Pennsylvania, welcomes visitors all year around, including during winter, the most tranquil of all the seasons. From November to March, the park is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and features a full menu of activities, such as hiking.
5. Presque Isle State Park – 301 Peninsula Dr #1, Erie, PA 16505
Beach goers flock to Presque Isle State Park every summer for the pristine beaches while nature lovers flock to the winter wonderland each winter. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Presque Isle State Park after a fresh snow fall with a stroll around the park or go cross country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, or ice boating.
6. Cucumber Falls – Sr2010, Dunbar, PA 15431
Snuggled in Ohiopyle State Park, Cucumber Falls becomes a glistening masterpiece in the winter. After visiting the tranquil frozen waterfall, hike less than a mile to Ohiopyle Falls. Ohiopyle State Park itself provides the ideal winter setting for snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding.
7. Stroud Preserve – 454 N Creek Road, West Chester, PA 19382
Stroud Preserve, open all year around, spans more than 570 acres that features hiking trails and the perfect opportunity to spot local birds, including field sparrows and the eastern meadowlark. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear as the hiking trails are not paved and vary in difficulty.
8. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium – 7340 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Channel those warm, snuggly feelings that come from seeing adorable animals with a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium for the popular event Penguins on Parade. To the delight of visitors, the resident penguins waddle out of their enclosures and on the walkways every Saturday and Sunday at 11:25 a.m. through February 26, 2017.
9. Tobyhanna State Park – 114 Campground Road, Tobyhanna, PA 18466
Marvel at the serene beauty of Tobyhanna Lake, at Tobyhanna State Park. The frozen lake becomes a playground for outdoor enthusiasts with ice skating and ice fishing. Snowmobiling is also a popular winter pastime at Tobyhanna State Park.
With its vast landscape, Pennsylvania provides countless activities for winter hiking. The Appalachian Trail in Monroe County, for example, offers sweeping views of the snow-capped trees and rocks and a seemingly endless sky.
11. Monocacy Creek – Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017
Explore Monocacy Creek Park in Bethlehem for stunning winter views of the frozen creek. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the paved paths and over the footbridge as you drink in the spectacular sight of the park in the winter.
These 11 majestic spots in Pennsylvania will make you feel like you’re at the North Pole and, if you’re looking for the perfect winter getaway, try
this remote lodge near the Allegheny National Forest.