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2023 Winter Outings Series Kicks Off This Sunday, Jan. 1
The 2023 Step Outdoors Winter Outings Series kicks off on New Year’s Day this Sunday, Jan. 1, with three free First Day hikes and a 5K, none of which require pre-registration, according to organizer Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex.
First Day Hike is Jan. 1 at Sinnemahoning State Park
This Sunday, Jan. 1, rain or shine, will be 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. A limited number of snowshoes will be provided if needed. The hike is recommended for adults and children eight and up. Dress for the weather. Bring water. Well-behaved dogs on short leashes are welcome. FMI: Call the park office at (814) 647-8401 or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
First Day Hike or Snowshoe & 5K are at Hills Creek on Jan. 1
Participate in the free First Day Guided Hike or First Day 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 take part in either the hike or 5K. Runners are asked to arrive by 12:30 p.m. to register for the 5K and pick up course information before the 1 p.m. start. The 5K course includes a mix of roads and trails around Hills Creek Lake. Runners record their own times. The 5K is a free, no cost, no frills event. There are no aid stations and no awards. Hikers will cheer on 5K runners at 1 p.m. and then leave on their own adventure. The short, family oriented, slow-paced guided hike is less than 1.5 miles. 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. FMI: Call the park office at (570) 724-4246.
First Day Hike is Sunday, Jan. 1 at Lyman Run State Park
A free, First Day Guided Family Nature Hike is this Sunday, Jan. 1 at Lyman Run State Park at 454 Lyman Run Road in Galeton, Potter County. The hike is suitable for adults and children. 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 are John Halter and Chip Harrison. Due to conditions, traction devices may be required and hiking poles are recommended. Dogs must be on leash and under control at all times. FMI: Call the park office at (814) 435-5010.
Tyoga Running Club to Host Free Thursday Night Group Runs in Wellsboro
The Tyoga Running Club is hosting free Thursday Night Runs open to the public on Thursdays, Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2023. Meet at the Packer Park parking lot behind the Wellsboro Active Living Center at 3 Queen Street in Wellsboro. The one-hour runs will begin promptly at 6 p.m. no matter what the weather conditions. Wearing a headlamp is recommended. There are different pace groups with varying distances for runners of all ages and ability levels. For information, visit facebook.com/tyogarunningclub.
Free Winter Survival Skills Program is Jan. 7; Pre-register by Jan. 5
Experienced Mountaineer Search and Rescue team member, Steve Bajor is teaching Winter Survival Skills on Saturday, Jan. 7 starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m. It’s free. Pre-registration is required by Thursday, Jan. 5 online through the DCNR Calendar of Events at events.dcnr.pa.gov by searching for the park name (Sinnemahoning State Park) and the program title (Winter Survival Skills),The program begins indoors in the park’s Wildlife Center classroom with a presentation and kit-making and then moves outdoors for hands-on practice in an off-trail area. Learn what the basic necessities are that people should always carry with them when exploring the outdoors; the steps to take when lost; how to keep safe and warm overnight; and how to improve the chances of being found. FMI: Call the park office at (814) 647-8401 or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
Eagle Watch is Sunday, Jan. 8 at Tioga-Hammond Dam Spillway
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, a free, one-hour Eagle Watch led by local expert and enthusiast Matt West will be at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Tioga-Hammond Dam spillway at 94-98 South Main Street in Tioga Borough. This is one of the best spots in the area to see bald eagles. Bring a camera and binoculars. A limited number of spotting scopes and binoculars will be available. West will talk about how to identify this raptor and areas in Tioga County where people can go to see them. To get to the spillway from Wellsboro, take Route 287 north for 17 miles, turn right at the stop sign onto South Main Street in Tioga Borough, drive to the end of the street, wind past the park entrance gate and drive past the spillway to the parking area – about one mile in total. For more information, call the Ives Run Visitor Information Center at (570) 835-5281.
FMI: 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.
Writing: Diane Eaton