While we think about our trails in the Johnstown area during the summer, we often forget about them in the winter. There are still many ways to enjoy these trails during the winter months. This Saturday is a day dedicated to reminding us about these trails.
Saturday, January 8, 2011 is Winter Trails Days. The annual event is organized each year to introduce people young and old to snow sports. Many locations will have special programs and lessons that are free. These scheduled events focus on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Events in the Johnstown area are limited this year. The closest event to the Johnstown area is at Moraine State Park. The park located about an hour and forty-five minutes northwest of Johnstown off of US 422. On Saturday, they are presenting a program on Basic Outdoor Survival Skills. The program includes a hike along the south shore of Lake Arthur. If there is ample snow, a limited number of snow shoes will be available for use. The hike starts at 1:00 pm and will allow you to practice some survival techniques along the way.
If you are interested in learning to cross-country ski, you can try on of the lessons conducted by Pennsylvania Cross Country Skiers Association. The lessons take place at the Laurel Ridge Cross Country Ski Center in Laurel Ridge State Parknear Rockwood. The lessons are held weekly through January on Sundays. The lessons start at 1:00 pm snow conditions permitting. They are free although participants must purchase a trail pass for the day which costs $6.00. This weekend, the snow conditions may not allow for lessons. Check the PACCSA website for more updates.
One factor that could limit your winter snow sports experience this weekend is the lack of snow cover. The ridges may not have good snow cover for cross-country skiing as there are areas that have spotty snow cover. Even the current snow fall which is expected to continue through Friday may not leave enough cover for snow sports.
If you are dead set on snow sports though, you could also take in some skiing or snowboarding at one of the local resorts. Blue Knob, about 45 minutes east of Johnstown and Seven Springs and Hidden Valley about an hour southwest of Johnstown all offer ski lessons during the weekend. These are not free as they are not one of the official Winter Trails Day events.
So get out and try some snow sports this weekend Johnstown and help celebrate Winter Trails Day. Remember to dress for the weather and stay safeduring your outing. See you on one of Johnstown’s trails.