Cross-country skiing is a great way to experience the outdoors in winter. Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests offer some of the best places to ski.
Particularly tranquil and scenic during the winter months, these year-round facilities provide seemingly endless miles of snow-covered trails.
Many trail networks are specifically designated and maintained for cross-country skiing.
Cross-Country Skiing in State Parks
Cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy a state park in winter, especially when there is lots of snow on the ground. Cross-country skiing trails are located on:
Old railroad grades
Some trails have track set. Visitors are asked to not hike or snowshoe over the set track. Snowshoeing is available anywhere there is enough snow.
Parks in the northern tier typically receive plenty of snowfall each year for winter activities, particularly in the northern-most counties and the northeast and northwest corners of the state.
Lake-effect snowfall in the northwest blankets the region with an average of 70 to 113 inches of snowfall during winter ensuring suitable conditions for cross-country skiing.
In the northeast corner, snow generally sticks around a little longer with the region’s cold temperatures.
The Laurel Highlands hold great potential for snow cover as well with the highest average snowfall in the state.
Most state parks have trails open for cross-country skiing, however, several offer groomed trails and a few also have warming huts.
State Parks with Groomed Cross-Country Skiing Trails
The following state parks offer groomed cross-country skiing trails:
*Trail-use fees apply at these parks
Snow Conditions in State parks
Find out where there is snow in state parks with the State Parks winter report, updated from first snow until spring thaw.
Cross-Country Skiing in State Forests
DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry has 560 miles of cross-country ski trails in 15 state forests and potentially all 3,671 miles of state forest trails are open to this use when snow covered.
state forest office of your choosing for the latest trail information.
State Forest Cross-Country Ski Trail Maps and Guides
The following state forests have developed cross-country skiing trails:
Cornplanter State Forest
Hunter Run Ski Trail (PDF)
Forbes State Forest
Laurel Highlands Trail System Map (PDF)
Northwoods Trail System Map (PDF)
Gallitzin State Forest
Gallitzin Ski Trail (PDF)
Loyalsock State Forest
Double Run Ski Trail (PDF)
Old Loggers Path and Cross-Country Ski Trails Map (PDF)
Susquehannock State Forest
Pine Mountain Ski Trail (PDF)
Billy Lewis Ski Trail (PDF)
Denton Ski Trail (PDF)
Access for People with Disabilities
Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return -- cell phones may not work in all areas
Plan ahead -- know road conditions, trail conditions, weather forecast, and determine a safe route
Know your limits -- keep mileage goals small, turn around when conditions are beyond your skills
Bring extra food for energy, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
Dress according to the weather -- layers including wool or moisture-wicking synthetics, adequate wind and water protection
Be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions in mountainous areas
Carry a survival kit with at least extra clothing, map, compass, fire starter, first-aid kit, flashlight, cell phone, emergency shelter, and whistle