Gear Up for Snowy Outdoor Adventures
A little snow won’t keep us stuck indoors. In fact, the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania offer outdoor adventures all year round, and winter is no exception. From tranquil, snow-covered trails to thrilling ski slopes, our region is a real-life winter wonderland. Bundle up, head outside, and discover winter activities for all ages.
Hit the Slopes
Located just 30 miles north of Scranton, Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Union Dale is often dubbed “Vermont without the drive.” The resort boasts an impressive 1,000 vertical feet, 180 skiable acres, 27 trails for all levels, and an epic terrain park. As locals can tell you, Elk truly feels like a hidden gem. No long lines or crowds here—just East Coast skiing and riding at its finest.
Go Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
Our region’s parks and trails offer plenty of terrain for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. One of the best spots is the D&H Rail-Trail, which stretches 38 miles from Simpson to the New York border. The trail is generally gentle, flat, and well-groomed at popular trailheads like Union Dale and Forest City. No gear? No problem. The Rail-Trail Council of NEPA frequently hosts cross-country skiing and snowshoeing clinics where you can rent equipment.
Take a Winter Hike
This time of the year, the trees glitter with frost and snow blankets the mountaintops. Enjoy the stunning scenery with a hike at our local parks and trails. At Salt Springs State Park near Montrose, the towering old-growth hemlocks look even more whimsical under a fresh layer of snow. For an easy, family-friendly option, the Iroquois Trail in Tunkhannock provides a flat, gentle walk through the woods.
Go Ice Fishing
Up here in the mountains, our ponds and lakes freeze over and create the perfect conditions for ice fishing. Ice fishing is permitted at Lake Jean at Ricketts Glen State Park. Sones Pond and Bear Wallow Pond in the Loyalsock State Forest are also popular spots. Please follow all Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and safety precautions.
Try Ice Hiking
Normally, the famous Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park is closed in the winter, except to experienced ice hikers and guided trips. However, even first-timers can explore the frozen falls with Valley to Summit’s professional tours. They offer full-day and half-day hikes that will lead you straight to the icy waterfalls. Both tours include a stop at the jaw-dropping, 94-foot tall Ganoga Falls, the tallest cascade on the trail. They provide the gear and guidance—all you need to bring is your sense of adventure.
Loyalsock State Forest is home to nearly 130 miles of joint-use state forest roads and 16 miles of trails that are open to snowmobiles, weather permitting. From there, you can ride right up to famous views like High Knob Overlook and Loyalsock Canyon Vista. Check out DCNR’s website for a map, regulations, and safety information.
Ride the Famous Toboggan Slide
Kids and adults alike can’t resist a ride down the Eagles Mere Toboggan Slide. This winter tradition started in 1904 and has been a local favorite ever since. The slide starts at the top of Lake Avenue and races down the hill toward the frozen Eagles Mere Lake, reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
Please note that the Eagles Mere Toboggan Slide depends on Mother Nature. The slide may be cancelled if temperatures are not cold enough. Call or check online for the latest updates.
Watch the Sleigh Rally
The annual Endless Mountains Sleigh Rally in Dushore brings the nostalgia of Currier and Ives to life. This competition showcases horse-drawn sleighs of every class, from massive draft horses to miniature ponies. Spectators are welcome. The 2023 rally is slated for January 15, weather permitting. Back-up dates are on February 4 and February 19.
Plan a Winter Getaway
After a long day of adventures, there’s nothing like coming back to a cozy cabin rental, the roaring fireplace of a B&B, or the warm comfort of a hotel. Check out our local accommodations and start planning your trip to the Endless Mountains.