Winterfest 2023 is Next Saturday, Jan. 21
Photo by John Eaton
Hills Creek State Park Complex Natural Resource Specialist Tim Morey is shown with a telescope.
Winterfest 2023 is offering free, fun, family-friendly snow and no snow and ice and no ice events next Saturday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, eight miles from Wellsboro, PA 16901. Everything is free.
If snow and ice conditions allow, there will be the traditional Winterfest sledding on Beach Front Hill; ice skating on Hills Creek Lake and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on park trails.
In the Kids Zone from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., youngsters can create snow sculptures by scooping and stacking snow and then decorating the sculptures by spraying on washable food dye and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. can make pinecone bird feeders to take home and with park staff explore what birds their homemade feeders might attract.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Environmental Education Specialist Susan Schenck at Lyman Run and Cherry Springs state parks, will present information on discovering what can be used from nature to make a warming winter beverage. Free recipes will be handed out. A Wild Winter Tea Tasting with Susan will begin at 12 p.m. and continue until gone. Taste some wild-foraged tea, brewed from wild-foraged plants.
Members of the Tiadaghton Audubon Society will have several displays relating to birding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will also lead 30-minute guided birding walks from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Join Tiadaghton State Forest (Forest District 12) Environmental Education Specialist, Vinny Curtis who is hosting a display on winter weed identification from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will also lead two 30-minute winter weed walks to identify winter plants in the area. The first will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the second from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Marshall Hamilton, Tioga Forest District (Forest District 16) service forester is leading a winter tree identification walk from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available to everyone from 11 a.m. until gone. Fire rings and burn barrels will help visitors stay warm.
Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each family can build a free bluebird box to take home free with assistance provided by the Tiadaghton Audubon Society. Quantities are limited.
Join the Tioga County Astronomy Interest Group between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to safely view the sun using special telescopes. As the peak of the 11-year solar cycle approaches, the special telescopes will make it possible to see sunspots and other prominences. In the event of heavy clouds, the group will demonstrate telescopes and specialized binoculars for viewing distant objects.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be a Lumber Camp in Winter display and demonstrations. Join Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Educator Jennifer Haines for hands-on winter lumber camp activities. Crosscut saws will be available for visitors ages eight and older to try, if weather permits.
If there is enough snow between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., people of all ages can join park staff and volunteers for short, hands-on cross-country ski and snowshoe mini-clinics, and then practice skiing or snowshoeing at their own pace. Skis and snowshoes, boots and poles to fit most youth through adults will be available to sign out and use free on-site or people can bring their own. Provided will be Information on how to purchase the best equipment to meet people’s needs.
Also available to sign out during the day will be tubes for two, some sleds and ice-skates; quantities are limited. Those who have their own equipment are encouraged to bring it.
Snow and ice condition updates will be posted at www.stepoutdoors.org.
Writing: Diane Eaton