First Day Hikes At Sinnemahoning, Hills Creek And Lyman Run State Parks
A group of adults, children and a dog or two go on a First Day Hike at Hills Creek.
The 2022 Winter Outings Series will open on New Year’s Day, Saturday, Jan. 1 with free First Day Hikes at three state parks, according to organizer Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex.
“There will be activities in January, February and March to give families and adventurers in Potter and Tioga counties an opportunity to get outdoors,” said Morey. “They are open to adults and youngsters who are supervised by a parent or another adult. Most of the activities are for beginners and made easy so participants will enjoy trying something new,” he said.
Activities are free unless stated otherwise. If snow is limited, alternative events may be offered. Preregistration is required in some cases.
Dress for the weather, including wearing proper footwear with traction devices, if necessary, or snowshoes, if there is enough snow. Bring water and a snack. Limited snowshoes and traction devices will be available to use free during activities as well as ice skates and cross-country skis. If conditions allow, cross-country ski track will be set for all ski events.
First Day Hike is Jan. 1 at Sinnemahoning State Park
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1, meet at the Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning State Park at 4843 Park Drive in Austin, Potter County for this free, easy, family-friendly guided 2.5-mile First Day Hike along the fairly level Lowlands Trail. See dens, nests and other animal traces and enjoy the beauty of First Fork Valley while learning about other outdoor recreational opportunities available throughout the year. This hike is recommended for adults and children five years old and up and for well-behaved dogs on short leashes. Kimberly Lott, the park’s environmental educator, is guiding the hike. Dress for the weather. Bring water. Preregistration is not required. For more information, call the park at (814) 647-8401 and dial 0 for the front desk or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
First Day 5K & First Day Hike/Snowshoe are on Jan. 1 at Hills Creek
A First Day Guided Hike or a First Day Guided Snowshoe Hike, and a First Day 5K are being offered at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Tioga County. Meet at the park’s beach parking area to participate in either the hike or 5K on Saturday, Jan. 1. For the First Day 5K, runners should arrive by 12:30 p.m. to register and pick up course information and details before the 1 p.m. start. The 5K is a free, no cost, no frills event meaning there are no aid stations, no awards and runners write down their own times. The goal is for runners to challenge themselves and their friends on the course around Hills Creek Lake. The short, family oriented, slow-paced 1.5-mile guided hike to explore nature in winter will be on Tauscher’s Trail. Hikers will cheer on the 5K runners at 1 p.m. and then leave on their own adventure. Also welcome to go on the hike are well-behaved dogs on short leashes. If there is snow, the hike 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. Leader is Tim Morey. Come early and stay late if there is enough snow. Sledding Hill is nearby so families are welcome to bring sleds, tubes or toboggans and give the hill a try, or cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike on the park’s trails and campground roads. For more information, call the park at (570) 724-4246.
Guided Family Nature Hike is Offered at Lyman Run on Jan. 1
On Saturday, Jan. 1, the Friends of Lyman Run are offering a First Day guided hike at Lyman Run State Park at 454 Lyman Run Road, Galeton in Potter County. Bring cameras. Preregistration is not required. Meet at 1 p.m. at the Lower Campground/Trail Head parking lot to go on the Family Nature Hike, which is less than a mile along the Lower Lyman Trail. The hike is suitable for adults and children. Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times. Leader Maxine Harrison will identify different trees, point out tracks and other signs of animal activity and explore the beaver pond with hikers. Due to trail conditions, traction devices may be required and hiking poles are recommended. For more information, call the park at (814) 435-5010.
Tyoga Running Club to Host Group Runs on Thursdays, Jan. 6, 13, 20 & 27
The Tyoga Running Club is hosting free Thursday Night Group Runs open to the public on Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Meet at the Packer Park parking lot behind the Wellsboro Senior Center at 3 Queen Street in Wellsboro. The one-hour runs will begin promptly 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 www.facebook.com/tyogarunningclub.
Preregister by Jan. 6 for Saturday, Jan. 8 Free Snowshoeing Basics
The deadline to preregister for Snowshoeing Basics online at the DCNR Calendar of Events at http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/sinnemahoning_state_park is Thursday, Jan. 6. The program is free. Snowshoes and trekking poles will be provided or registrants can bring their own. On Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m., join the park’s Environmental Educator Kimberly Lott, an experienced snowshoer, at the Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning State Park at 4843 Park Drive in Austin, Potter County. The program will begin indoors in the Wildlife Center classroom with an introduction to snowshoeing equipment and styles, followed by guided practice instruction on level ground and then a short excursion on the trail. If snow depth is insufficient for snowshoeing, the indoor program and overview of snowshoe equipment and techniques will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., followed by a two- to three-mile nature hike from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information or to get help with registration, call the park office at (814) 647-8401 and dial 0 for the front desk or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
To learn more about Winter Outings series events or for updates on trail conditions, directions and more, visit www.stepoutdoors.org or search for Step Outdoors Tioga County on Facebook.
Writing: Diane Eaton