The 2023 Step Outdoors Winter Outings Series will begin on New Year’s Day, Sunday Jan. 1 with First Day hikes at three state parks in Tioga and Potter counties, according to organizer Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex.
“A total of 27 activities are being offered in Tioga and Potter counties in January, February and March of 2023,” Morey said. “Included are lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Several programs combine indoor and outdoor activities and others are offered indoors only,” he said. “The majority of them are free and open to beginners, both adults and children under adult supervision,” Morey added. Pre-registration is required for some of the events.
First Day Hike is Jan. 1 at Sinnemahoning State Park
On Sunday, Jan. 1, rain or shine, start the New Year on the right foot with a free, easy, family-friendly 2.5-mile First Day Guided Hike along fairly level trails. Meet at 10 a.m. at Pavilion 1 in the 40 Maples Day Use Area at Sinnemahoning State Park at 4843 Park Drive in Austin, Potter County. Learn to identify common tree species, see dens and nests, scout for tracks and other animal traces, and enjoy the beauty of First Fork Valley. A limited number of snowshoes wiII be provided if needed. Recommended for adults and children eight and up. Well-behaved dogs on short leashes are welcome. Dress for the weather. Bring water. Pre-registration is not required. FMI: Call the park office at 814-647-8401 or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
First Day Hike or Snowshoe & 5K will be at Hills Creek on Jan. 1
Start 2023 on the right foot by participating in the free First Day Guided Hike or 5K at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road in Charleston Township, seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Tioga County. On Sunday, Jan. 1, participants will meet at the park’s beach parking area to participate in either the hike or First Day 5K. Runners should arrive by 12:30 p.m. to register for the 5K and to pick up course information before the 1 p.m. start. The 5K is a free, no cost, no frills event. There are no aid stations and no awards. Runners record their own times. The goal is for 5K participants to challenge themselves on a course that includes a mix of roads and trails around Hills Creek Lake. The short, family oriented, slow-paced guided hike of less than 1.5 miles will be on Tauscher’s Trail. If conditions allow, it will become a guided snowshoe hike. Hikers are encouraged to bring their own snowshoes or traction devices. A limited supply of both will be available to use free. Well-behaved dogs on short leashes are welcome. Hikers will cheer on 5K runners at 1 p.m. and then leave on their own adventure. Come early and stay late. If there is enough snow, families are welcome to bring sleds, tubes or toboggans and give the park’s Sledding Hill a try or cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike on other trails or paved roads in the park. For information, call the park at 570-724-4246.
First Day Hike is Sunday, Jan. 1 at Lyman Run State Park
A free, First Day Guided Family Nature Hike will be on Sunday, Jan. 1 at Lyman Run State Park at 454 Lyman Run Road in Galeton, Potter County. Bring cameras. Meet at 1 p.m. at the Lower Campground/Trail Head parking lot to go on this easy walk of less than a mile along the Lower Lyman Trail. Leaders John Halter and Chip Harrison will encourage hikers to search for tracks and other signs of winter animal activity; identify different trees and learn about stream ecology. The hike is suitable for adults and children. Dogs must be on leash and under control at all times. Due to conditions, traction devices may be required and hiking poles are recommended. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, call the park at 1-814-435-5010.
Visit www.stepoutdoors.org any time to learn more about Winter Outings events or for updates on trail conditions, directions and other information or search for Step Outdoors Tioga County on Facebook.