Step Outside - Pennsylvania WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Pennsylvania 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:14:55 -0500 5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Pennsylvania There are few better ways to pass a summer and make lifetime memories than with a family camping trip. Better yet, lakeside campgrounds provide endless hours of entertainment so thrilling the little ones won’t even miss their gadgets and gizmos. Whether you’re a rugged outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to try something new, Pennsylvania plays host to campgrounds of every variety. From ready-and-waiting cabins to bring-your-own-tent, these sites are some of the most stunning in the United States, and all yours for a nonstop adventure in the woods! 

Set on a private, 90-acre lake in the glorious Pocono Mountains, Keen Lake Camping and Cottage Resort is one of the most beautiful and cost effective ways to stage a getaway in Pennsylvania. Family owned and operated, with an eye towards both quality and fun, this Waymart location is simply sublime. If you can tear yourself away from gazing at the majestic lake, activities are endless, from fishing and boating to themed, weekend specific group pastimes. Leave the stresses of the world behind and lose yourself with Keen Lake Camping! 

If you’re looking to plan the ultimate family vacation, you could scarcely do better than a trip to Otter Lake Camp Resort. Set in 300 serenely forested acres, this Marshalls Creek find boasts some of the best activities in state. From swimming and canoeing to bingo, movies, and organized sports, nobody will be able to cry boredom at Otter Lake, even on those inconveniently inclement days! 

On a 1,730-acre lake, set perfectly in 5,900 acres of impeccably preserved parkland, lies one of the most beautiful camping opportunities imaginable. With ADA compliant campsites, an amphitheater, and access to hot showers, the beauty of the great outdoors has never been quite this accessible. Whether you’re just looking to relax, or engage in all-out, camping excitement, Bald Eagle State Park is a worthwhile trip! 

Everybody loves Lake Wallenpaupack, but Ironwood Point seems to make everyone’s favorite lake even better! With an eye towards wholesome family recreation, and available boat slip rentals, Ironwood Point is just about the perfect place. 

If you simply can’t get enough time on the waters of Lake Erie, consider spending the night at Virginia’s Beach Lakefront Cabins and Camping. With 1,100 feet of picture-perfect lakefront, this North Springfield spot is beloved by children and adults alike. Additionally, as Lake Erie is both the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes, the fishing at Virginia’s Beach is among the best in the country! 

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5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Pennsylvania Nothing can unite a family quite like time spent in the great outdoors. Lucky for us, Pennsylvania plays host to some of the best campgrounds in the country, and boasts incredible options for families. Whether you’re testing the waters of a new activity, or continuing an annual tradition, truly great family-friendly camping options in state await! 

Located near one of the most family-friendly attractions out there, Hersheypark Camping Resort is a great option for both those who want to partake in the Hershey experience, or those who just want a relaxing getaway! Whether you bring your own tent or RV, or rent an available cabin, this spot is perfect to forget your worries and create lasting memories.

Current situation. #rightnow #camping #thesweetestplaceonearth #hersheyparkhappy

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Pine Cradle Lake is the perfect place to leave the world behind and reconnect with the people who really make life wonderful. Whether you rent a campsite or a cabin, this Rome Township destination is both beautiful and full of kid-friendly excitement. An 18-acre lake sets the stunning scene, and activities and themed weekends keep the energy high. 

Three-hundred serene acres in the heart of the Poconos already sound too good to be true, even without the added excitement of Otter Lake Camp’s offerings. Take a swim in the 80-acre lake, try your hand at bass fishing, play tennis on lighted courts, and pass any rainy days at the heated indoor pool!

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Nestled along the border of Moraine State Park, Bear Run Campground is an affordable, exhilarating option for families looking to spice up their summer. In addition to themed weekends, this Portersville location offers activities like horseback riding, sports, children’s gem mining, and even boasts an exciting game room for rainy weather. 

“Come as friends, leave as family,” is the motto at Cozy Creek. This wonderful family campground has spacious campsites and cabins, and plenty of fun activities for the entire family to enjoy. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit. Some of the activities available at Cozy Creek include fire truck rides, relay races, arts and crafts and movie nights. 

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5 Awesome RV Campsites in Pennsylvania There are few better ways to get away than with a relaxing camping excursion. If you’re not quite ready to leave all your favorite modern amenities behind to rough it in the great outdoors, spending some time in a recreational vehicle (RV) is often a very happy medium. Enter the best RV camping sites in all of Pennsylvania, which not only act as a gateway to the great outdoors, but often as an affordable stay in otherwise inaccessible areas as well. Check out these awesome RV options in state, and get busy making lasting memories with the ones you love! 

If you’re looking to do some fabulous camping in Lancaster County, look no further than Country Acres Campground. This campground is conveniently located close to all things Amish, and serves as an affordable way to enjoy both cultural and natural intrigue. Open March through November, Country Acres offers many of the same amenities of a hotel without sacrificing the charms of RV camping. From free Wi-Fi to a beach-style pool to a fenced in dog park, the entire family will be occupied and satisfied. Guests can even take advantage of discounted tickets to Bird-In-Hand Stage shows, presenting Amish-themed musical theater. 

In South Central Pennsylvania, it’s tough to beat the RV camping experience presented by Dogwood Acres Campgrounds. Set beautifully in Newville, this campground has previously received national recognition for excellence, and one visit shows precisely why. Apart from incredible surroundings, Dogwood Acres puts on a great schedule of events for campers. From the annual Memorial Day Pinewood Derby race to Pirate Weekends to Christmas in September, this campground gives the rest a run for their money. 

Conveniently located near both natural and manmade attractions, Twin Grove RV Resort is a wonderful way to stay while you play. With both pull-through and back-in RV sites, all with free Wi-Fi and Satellite TV, parties of all types can be hosted handily. Themed weekends and special activities make for grand family vacations, and the amenities on site are seemingly endless. From 18 holes of both miniature and Frisbee golf to sports courts to an indoor movie theater for rainy days, this Pine Grove outfit is ready to give you the best family vacation of all time! 

Set on 80 glorious, mountaintop acres, Pioneer Campground is certainly one of the most beautiful RV camping sites in state, if not the country! Located on top of Sonestown Mountain, this location offers an abundance of animal life and natural beauty to admire while you relax in nature. Additionally, festive themed weekends, contests, and events make each trip uniquely exciting and lend to lasting memories. Be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of local events which elevate an already great stay at Pioneer Campground! 

If you’re looking to spend some time absorbing the important history of Gettysburg, there are few more immersive ways than with a trip to Gettysburg Campground. The amenities are expansive, ranging from organized activities to hayrides, and even an on- site RV repair shop! Combined with the incredible scholastic opportunities located just minutes away, Gettysburg Campground is a great way to pack a family vacation with equal parts instruction and exhilaration! 

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5 Great Hiking Trails in Pennsylvania Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman, or just looking to get out of the city for an afternoon, the hiking trails of Pennsylvania are both stunning and child friendly! Bring a picnic and a swimsuit, or just your sneakers and good old fashioned determination, and hit the trails for incredible views, wildlife, and magnificent geological formations. 

At just about 1.5 miles-long, the George W. Childs Park Trail is one of the best options for families with little ones, or those looking for a more leisurely jaunt. Enjoy a lake, waterfalls, and plenty of natural beauty, including some seriously great birdwatching. Plenty of nearby, similar trails allow for a customized hike of different lengths, should you chose to make a day of it!  

The key is balance

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A slightly more moderate option, measuring just about three miles-long. The Meadow Run Trail boasts views of multiple waterfalls, the Youghiogheny River, and a breathtaking gorge. After a more difficult first quarter mile, the trail eases and families can expect stunning vistas, loads of ecological exploration, and even two very cool natural water slides formed by rock. 

Set on a defunct railway, this trail measures just over five miles and is perfect for families looking for a longer hike that still maintains a kid-friendly level of difficulty. Due to its railroad history, the trail itself is largely flat, and offers a great opportunity to teach children about both local ecology and the fascinating history and engineering behind our nation’s rails. Lose yourself in the bucolic country of Lancaster County, peaceful horse farms, and the lovely Conewago Creek. 

Shawmut Trail is an all-seasons treasure. At about two miles in length, this Smethport gem is suitable for even the youngest hikers, and a stop at Hamlin Lake makes it fun for the whole family. Take in the incredible natural beauty of the area, and spend some time boating or fishing on the lake, for an unforgettable family experience. 

Whether you bring your horse, your dog, or just your little ones, a trip to Cook Forest State Park is a must for Pennsylvania families. Camp out, or just spend an afternoon, and explore this incredible natural resource near Erie. Bring a book on local plant life and become an amateur botanist, or keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including the sometimes-spotted area black bear! 

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5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Pennsylvania Hiking is perhaps the perfect activity—physically challenging for the body, an opportunity to overcome fear and hesitation, and access to some of the most beautiful views known to man. For those who want to get moving and see something spectacular, the hiking trails of Pennsylvania are among the world’s most stunning. From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and all points in between, get ready to get active and inspired! 

It’s pretty tough to top a waterfall hike, so for Ricketts Glen Falls Trail to feature over 20 glorious cascades over a 7.2-mile trek is fairly impressive. The trail is generally advertised as being particularly difficult, but given patience and proper attention, even more beginner hikers can conquer this chain of cataracts. One particular point of park pride is Ganoga Falls, which at 94 feet stands among the tallest in Pennsylvania. The trail is open year round, but there is a strict requirement that winter adventurers retain proper equipment for ice climbing! 

This incredible natural resource is stunning year round, but a trip to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is particularly breathtaking during the autumn migratory season. Roughly 18,000 falcons, hawks, and eagles pass through the area per annum, starting around the middle of August and extending until mid-December. During this exciting season, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has experts stationed at the North Lookout daily to answer questions and help amateur ornithologists identify species. Spend an hour, an afternoon, or even a full day taking in the almost overwhelming beauty of some of America’s most fascinating animals, in one of the most scenic areas of the state. 

Designed and built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lambs Creek is ideal for those who appreciate an impeccably conceived and maintained trail. Measuring in at about 3.5 miles, this trail is contained within Pine Creek Gorge, often called “the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” one of the most breathtaking areas of the Keystone State, and the country at large. The Lambs Creek hiking and biking trail is stunning year round, but becomes particularly beautiful during fall foliage season! 

Perfectly set in the serene Michaux State Forest, Pole Steeple Trail flawlessly balances distance and difficulty for a hiking opportunity ideal for all skill levels. Measuring three quarters of a mile, Pole Steeple traverses a variety of elevations, making for some steep portions. Be sure to leave time to admire the entire park from the Pole Steeple Overlook, a perfect quartzite outcrop that serves as a fitting reward for getting out there and moving your body! 

This trail was originally built to connect the Mid State Trail and Tuscarora Trail but Standing Stone is a destination in itself. Situated among beautiful animal and plant life and breathtaking scenery, Standing Stone is over 80 miles-long. Along the trail, moving through the town of Mapleton, hikers will come across the Thousand Steps. These steps, which were built by quarry workers in the 1950s, are located in Jacks Narrow near Mount Union. Parts of this trail can be rather challenging, but it is well worth the effort. 

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5 Exhilarating Jet Skiing Spots in Pennsylvania One of the best ways to enjoy the freedom and excitement of Pennsylvania’s waterways is with a ride on a jet ski. The world’s original personal watercraft, jet skis allow everyone to channel a world of high-flying excitement, and enjoy top speeds and top thrills. Additionally, jet skis allow for exploration of the small islands and hidden coves of the Keystone State, making them ideal for the intrepid explorers among us. Throw boring aside and check out these fun places in Pennsylvania for jet skiing!

One of Pennsylvania’s most beloved bodies of water, Lake Wallenpaupack, is unsurprisingly one of the best spots in the Keystone State to let loose and make a splash! Fifty-two miles of shoreline makes for plenty of space to try out your tricks, or get your sea legs if you’re newer to the pursuit. Keep the fun going after some time on the lake with on-site recreation, and hundreds of acres of surrounding natural space for endless Pocono playtime. Incredible vistas, fun surroundings, and plenty of water make Lake Wallenpaupack an easy choice.

The Allegheny River represents some of the most ecologically diverse and scenic stretches of water in all of Pennsylvania, qualities that make it practically perfect for a day of jet skiing adventure. Whether you visit tiny islands dotted along the river, or just bask in the exhilaration of a day on the water, a trip down the Allegheny is tough to beat. Beat the stress of the Steel City, or whichever ‘burb you call home, with a carefree day jet skiing on the Allegheny!

As the 13th largest lake in the world, it’s only natural that our Great Lake Erie graces the list of awesome jet ski destinations. Our local wonder is renowned for its maritime history, and today plays host to numerous recreational activities. Explore beautiful Presque Isle State Park, take a swim, spend some time in the sun, or simply take in the beautiful coastline of our truly great lake.

If you’re looking to take in a whole new view of Philadelphia, a jet ski on the Schuylkill is fairly tough to beat. Additionally, as one of the only significant rivers whose entire watershed can be found within the state of Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill is one of our most truly native waterways. Experience the City of Brotherly Love like never before as you navigate the waters of the Schuylkill for a day you’ll always remember. 

Created in 1959 to provide local recreation, Pinchot Lake is a jewel in the crown of Pennsylvania’s waterfront crown. The lake is so stunning, in fact, that soon after its construction, a state park was designated surrounding the area. Enjoy Gifford Pinchot State Park, one of the Keystone State’s most incredible resources with a day of fun, sun, and—of course—jet skiing!

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5 Great Paddleboarding Spots in Pennsylvania Legend holds that the modern iteration of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) began in 1940s Hawaii as a means for surfers to get their fix without the larger swells. In past years, its popularity has exploded, and SUP has since become a great way for those without access to world quality beaches to get their surfing rush. The rivers and lakes of the Keystone State have not been immune to the sport’s growing presence, and as a result Pennsylvanians are exploring SUP at ever increasing rates. Enter the best spots for paddleboard launches in state, ready to help even the very beginner get out there and get going! 

If you’re looking to start stand-up paddleboarding as a very beginner, there could be few better locations to look towards than Blue Marsh Lake and the nearby equipment specialists at the Crank. This Wernersville store covers a variety of outdoor activities, and manages to have one of the best options for renting state of the art SUP equipment as well. The Crank also offers demonstrations every Tuesday evening at Blue Marsh Lake as a way to introduce newcomers to the sport, and experienced boarders to new inventory. A relaxed, evening ride is just the ticket to take the stress or fear of trying something new out of the equation, and the expert staff at the Crank will be standing by to assist, regardless of your ability. 

For city slickers looking for a respite from that urban frenzy, look no further than Falls Township Community Park. Conveniently located close to Philadelphia and pretty as a picture, this Levittown location claims a gorgeous, 75-acre lake, perfect for paddleboarding. Looking for equipment or expert advice? Nearby Driftwood Water Adventures presents a number of opportunities for boarding. If you’re looking to bring your friends in on the event, book an affordable group outing, which comes complete with safety briefing and SUP demonstration. If you’re already familiar with the basics of boarding, look into the yoga and fitness group outings, which combine more conventional exercises with the idea of SUP. 

Paddle Boarding Prosโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿšฃ

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Pittsburgh is a fantastic city, but sometimes you just need to breathe that country air. If you’re having a more claustrophobic week, consider heading north to Bridgewater and spending some time on the Beaver River. Looking to rent a board or take a start-from-scratch lesson? Beaver Boardshop presents a number of options, including partial and unlimited season passes for a discount. After a rigorous but relaxing day on the water, reward yourself with the very conveniently located Tiki Bar, situated just by the Beaver Boardshop launch. 

floating my way to bliss! ??????? #supyoga #harderthanitlooks #playtime

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It would be difficult to even dream up a more picturesque location for paddleboarding than the Poconos, an opportunity fully embraceable with time spent on the Delaware River. Even better, rentals and lessons are readily available at Mauka Nalu, a local SUP outfit. This Delaware operation specializes both in basic instruction for the very beginner, and fitness outings with a master instructor. Whether you’re looking to try a new outdoor, athletic activity, or really hone in on the fitness possibilities of the paddleboard, Mauka Nalu is a professional, endlessly peppy option ready to walk you through each step. Visit the Delaware River for an unforgettable stand-up paddleboarding experience! 

yes, i ended up falling after this picture #ohwell #paddleboarding

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With 1,450 stunning acres of lake, it’s no surprise that Nockamixon State Park is an ideal opportunity for stand-up paddleboard enthusiasts in southeastern Pennsylvania. If you’re an experienced boarder just looking for a rental and a launch, Nockamixon Boat Rental is a great, convenient option. A beautiful location on one of Pennsylvania’s most breathtaking pieces of land makes this Quakertown location an easy add to our list. 

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5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Pennsylvania With many miles of kayak-able waters, Pennsylvania is blessed with a huge array of watersport options. Starting out can be daunting, but with a little grit, some commitment, and a sense of humor, almost anyone can begin to feel at home on the water. Grab a friend, a date, or just your own sense of adventure, and set out on your kayaking journey! Here are five awesome spots for beginners to kayak in Pennsylvania. 

Experience the more natural side of the Steel City with a leisurely afternoon spent on the Allegheny River. Whether you purchase a season pass or single hour, these gentle waters are perfect as an introduction to water sports. Check the website for social options like a Saturday morning Kayak and Coffee!

If you’re a total beginner, but looking to ascend quickly through the ranks to greatness, consider a two-day kayaking clinic on the Lehigh River. Whitewater Challengers looks to quickly and safely get you acclimated to being in a kayak, and even taking on the challenges of rough water. Day one takes place on still waters, while day two will expose you to the challenges faced by master paddlers. 

If you’re looking to baby-step it into the outdoors from the comfort of your city cocoon, look no further than Hidden River Outfitters. This Philadelphia-based company offers exciting, urban kayaking tours for all skill levels, including those on their very first paddle. Choose to explore the banks of the Schuylkill, or take a Manayunk Tour, which includes either a brunch, lunch, or happy hour at the incredibly hip Manayunk Brewing Company. 

If you’re a beginner with more of an independent streak, consider renting a kayak or canoe from Marsh Creek Watersports, located on beautiful Marsh Creek Lake. This Downingtown outlet offers a la carte rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and even small motorboats. If you want to have a bit more hands-on help, consider one of their 90-minute night tours, which take on the beauty and nature of the lake environment in the dark! 

Explore the beauty of our state on the lovely Lake Erie with Lake Erie Outfitters! Located at the gorgeous Presque Isle State Park, this is undoubtedly one of the more stunning ways to learn about kayaking. Choose a rental or a tour, either way you’ll be paddling happy! 

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9 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Pennsylvania Want a great way to relax and rewind? Go fish! Take the family, go with friends, or make it part of your family vacation, but get out there and experience life in the great outdoors. With miles of streams and rivers, more than 4,000 inland lakes and ponds, and Lake Eerie, Pennsylvania is a gold mine for fishing opportunities. Find excellent fishing for bass, crappie, carp, and catfish. But first, you’ll want to check out the 10 best bait and tackle shops in the state listed below to get everything you need from rods and reels to bait and apparel to your fishing license. 

Klotz’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, is a great find for all your year-round fishing needs. With excellent customer service and helpful knowledge from seasoned anglers, Klotz’s has been a great family owned and operated resource since 2002 for all things related to fishing. They have flexible hours every day except Wednesdays and major holidays. 

Like low prices and helpful store staff who don’t just try to sell you something without knowing anything about it? Then you’re going to love Susquehanna Fishing Tackle in Columbia, Pennsylvania. With great brands like Optimum Baits, Shimano, Strike King, Abu Garcia, and so many more they can’t be listed here, they have everything you need and can answer your questions from their extensive knowledge. With the lowest prices around, they also have fast delivery if something needs ordered, and shipping is free for orders over $50. And if you find the same product somewhere else for less, they’ll price match it! Open every day except Sunday. 

Located on the western shore of Lake Erie in Fairview, Pennsylvania, Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle Shop has one mission—to help you catch more fish. No matter what you’re fishing for, they can direct you to the right rod and reel, lures, bait, and anything else that will help you bring that fish home. They even have boat storage available. A sponsor of several local fishing tournaments, they have helpful information about cleaning and smoking your fish. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tore them up! #limitout #eriesteelheadadventure2017

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Buck’s County is the place where you’ll find Ed’s Live Bait and Tackle Shop, conveniently located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and 1968 was the year they opened. Offering a great assortment of rods, reels, lures, hooks, and dipseys, you’ll be surprised if they don’t have what you want. Open every day except holidays, Ed’s is family owned and has extensive knowledge and experience around fishing and boating. 

In business for over 56 years, Brinkman’s has consistently provided its customers the very best. As a specialty fishing store, Brinkman’s carries brand name products for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Minutes away from the Delaware River and able to answer questions about many of the nearby lakes and creeks, you’ll find great in-store prices and online offers on their website and Facebook pages.  

If you love fishing the Tioga County Lake area or fly fishing along Pine Creek in the east-central part Pennsylvania, then you’ll have to remember to stop by Tackle Shack in Wellsboro to get your supplies before your next trip. Featuring brands like StrikeMaster and 13 Fishing, and they have 24-hour bait and tackle vending all year round. You’ll never be without supplies when you get that urge to fish. Open every day except holidays.

Willie Marx’s Bait Tackle & More in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, is a one-stop shop for all your fishing needs. For the last 15 years, Willie’s has been giving great deals and great service to locals and out of towners who come to fish along the beautiful Lehigh River. Along with great products, they love to give information and share secrets and tips to help you catch the very best. They may even have a few fish stories of their own to share. 

Whatever your outdoor sport, Reddi Bait & Tackle in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, can be your source for hunting, fishing, and trapping supplies. Catfishing is a specialty for this little local shop, and you’ll find the owners very experienced and happy to share information that will help you catch more fish. Open every day, you can get your wiggles, squiggles, night crawlers, and other bait any time. 

If you love fishing, you’ve probably not met anyone who loved it more than the friendly folks at Lock 3 Bait & Tackle in Cheswick, Pennsylvania. Open seven days a week, you’ll find brands like Lew’s, Shakespeare, Rapala, and Lucky Craft among many others. They also sponsor a heaviest trout contest. You won’t find friendlier people than the folks at Lock 3 Bait & Tackle. 

~The Crankbait Wall~

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-pennsylvania http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-pennsylvania Fri, 29 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Outdoor Festivals in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania stretches from the salty Delaware River estuary to the Great Lakes; mountains, forests, rivers and streams define the land in between. And that means there is plenty of natural splendor to celebrate. From fishing to running, here are the best outdoor festivals in Pennsylvania!

Every June, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission hosts the Family Fishing Festival at Lackawanna State Park. The event is designed for anglers of all ages (over five, anyway) who would like to learn basic fishing skills or to hone their techniques while fishing during the festival. The event is free, and all equipment will be provided at no cost. No fishing license is required to fish during the festival.

Hiking enthusiasts can celebrate the renowned Appalachian Trail (AT) at the annual Duncannon Appalachian Trail Festival. An official Appalachian Trail Community, Duncannon is proud of its connection to the AT and celebrates it with a festival every June. In addition to guided hikes, there will also be craft activities for children, wildlife programs, food vendors and live music.

The annual Regatta at Lake Arthur is more than just a boat race. Rather, the boat race is an excuse to throw a big party with many events and activities like cycling, fishing—and bowfishing—paddling, swimming, yoga and of course, sailing and rowing. Vendors include Care Chiropractic Center, Burritos by Brett, Olympos Gyros, and Barbara's Mobile Boutique.

The Harvest Running Festival—"a celebration of human potential"—offers a slate of races over a couple of days, including a cross-country, evening 5K and a half-marathon in the morning. Runners can sign up for either event, or if they're feeling particularly motivated, both.

Every October, the village of Walnutport celebrates its heritage and historic canal with its annual Canal Festival. The festival includes events like hayrides, a 6K "Towpath Trot," a fun run and walk, and a "Fall Frolic Along the Towpath." Live music, food vendors and kids' activities will be available. Secure biking parking will be available thanks to Rails to Trails and the Lehigh County Regional Council of the D&L Trail Alliance. Susquehanna Bank and the North Lehigh County Chapter of Thrivent Financial are also sponsors.

The Milton Harvest Festival takes place every September. But the weeklong event is about much more than the harvest. It's chock full of fun activities like a parade, pageants and arts and crafts. For those who would rather participate than spectate, there is also a 5K run, a 28-mile bike race, a golf tournament and a spaghetti eating contest. Live music, food vendors, dances and block parties pop up throughout the festival.

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Every August, whitewater enthusiasts enjoy a couple days of adrenaline the Lehigh River dam at Weatherly is released. And what better reason to throw a festival? The Lehigh RiverFest is a weekend of paddling, rafting, biking and if you like, paintball. Camping is available, vendors and live entertainment will be onsite.

Although it's a fairly new event, Jakes Witch Project claims to be Northwestern Pennsylvania's "premiere mountain bike festival." The festival takes place amid 20 miles of multi-use trails. Bring your bike, hit the trails and enjoy some good rides, live music, tasty food and cold beverages. There will also be two race events during the festival, one hosted by TrailFlo bike shop and the other by Warren Cycle Shop

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Sponsored by the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society, Paddlefest takes place every August on the lake of the same name. The main event is a three-mile kayak race. There will also be a series of sprint races for kayak's 12 feet and under during the festival. Family-friendly events and activities will take place shoreside during and after the races.

The Forest City Trail Town Festival takes place every year on the first Saturday in August. In addition to enjoying the wares of food vendors and the sound of music, folks can lace on their running shoes for the Coal Cracker 2-Mile and/or the quarter-marathon that take place during the festival.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-festivals-in-pennsylvania http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-festivals-in-pennsylvania Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Dirt Motorcycle Trails in Pennsylvania Whether it’s through forested spaces or in wide-open parks, the dirt biking landscape in Pennsylvania is pristine. If the thrill-seeking bug has bitten you, you won’t want to miss out on what the state has to offer. From winding paths to motocross parks that act as playgrounds for dirt bikers, check out the five best dirt biking trails in the state. 

With beginner, intermediate, and advanced tracks, Breezewood is perfect for a rider learning their way, or a group of riders looking to visit the same location. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the rest of the week features 12 hours of open riding, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. On site rentals and camps make this an ideal option for even the very beginners. 

Two thousand acres of technically advanced trails, all ready and waiting to blow your mind! Experience 2,000 feet of elevation change as you explore the winding dirt paths of lost trails, resulting in one of the most incredible views anywhere in the Poconos. Little daredevils can try out the “mini-moto” park, a quarter-mile track with mini jumps and banked turns. 

From a beginner track to race days, Doublin Gap is a veritable playground for motocross enthusiasts. Practice days cost $30, and feature a freshly-groomed track for optimal enjoyment. Feel like a professional from your very first ride at this Shippensburg location. 

Seventy-two acres of motocross magic. Switchback MX features trail riding, as well as outdoor and indoor training tracks. Beginner riders can work their skills year-round, no matter the weather, at this Butler location. 

Featuring a full-sized track for experienced riders, and an ATV track that allows youth riders to try things out. This Fredericksburg location has delighted generations of riders and shows no signs of slowing down. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-pennsylvania http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-pennsylvania Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0600
SPOTLIGHT: Lancaster Archery Supply http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-lancaster-archery-supply http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-lancaster-archery-supply Wed, 10 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600 8 Best Winter Cabin Camping Spots in Pennsylvania Just because snow is blanketing the ground doesn’t mean you can’t still retreat to the great outdoors. For a fun-filled winter adventure with family or friends, head to the magnificent cabin camping locations of Pennsylvania. Not only will you have the comforts of everyday amenities, but you’ll be rewarded the rustic experience you’re seeking, as well. Here are the best winter cabin camping spots in the state.

Nestled in the beautiful Allegheny Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania, Gateway Lodge Country Inn in Cooksburg is the perfect getaway when the winter blues start to get you down. Each of the six rustic cabins has a deck for outside eating with a beautiful view of the surrounding woods. Accommodating two to eight people, the cabins are insulated with canvas curtains to hold in the warmth on snowy winter days, and a gas fireplace provides warmth and ambience. The kitchen has a gas stove, refrigerator, and microwave, and all cooking utensils, tableware, and serving dishes are included. Some firewood is there, but more can be purchases at the Main Lodge. If you choose not to cook in the cabin, there are several nice restaurants close by. Check their website for specials and off-season rates. 

A little late but- Super excited to have our first re-vamped blog post ready to roll! Check out the post to see all of the epic shots from our winter wonderland cabin escape at Cooks Forest! I cant promise that the writing part is even interesting, but what I CAN promise is that these photos WILL NOT disappoint! Link in bio to getcha there quick! . . . . . . . . #pghcreative #412project #moodygrams #moodylandscapes #officialfsstoppers #artofvisuals #createexplore #visualmobs #steelcitygrammers #agameoftones #Pittsburghphotographers #photographybyalexandralynn #pittsburgh #radstorytellers #adventureseeker #explorepa #hikepennsylvania #hikepa #outdoorwomen #pennsylvaniawilds #getoutdoors #getoutside #putyourphonedown #forgetyourphone #capturedpgh #viewbug #moodygram #outdoorphotography #creativetravelcouples

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This large one-bedroom cottage is just right for an intimate time away. Located in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, the cottage is complete with a kitchen that has everything you need for preparing your own meals, there’s a gas log fireplace, and all the comforts of home. Minimum overnights are required.

Al and Brenda’s Country Cottages in Sigel, Pennsylvania, is a family-owned business located near Cook Forest in the northwestern part of the state. Open year round, the cabins offer many things to do during the warmer months in the surrounding area, and are a great place to get away for a winter retreat. Each cabin has a gas fireplace, kitchen, living and sleeping areas, and bathroom. Linen packages are available, and there are board games and a TV/VCR for use by guests. If you’re planning a family getaway, children under 14 stay free with parents. 

Located in Centre County, Pennsylvania, Black Moshannon State Park is a favorite place to stay overnight, kick back, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. Native Americans called the place Moss-Hanne, which means moose stream, and the black water that is part of the park’s name comes from the tannic acid from the plants and trees that act like a giant teabag. Modern and deluxe rustic cabins are available year-round and can accommodate up to eight overnight visitors. Handicap cabins are available, and each has a kitchen with stove, refrigerator, and microwave. 

Our Cozy Winter Escape! #cabin #rinellaphoto

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This beautiful cozy cabin is just the place to relax and regroup with your special someone or as a family. Located in Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania, very close to Rickets Glen State Park, there’s plenty of space for a family of six or this can be a nice retreat for two. You’ll have all the comforts of home with a fully-equipped kitchen and all linens provided, but if the weather is good, you can enjoy cooking and eating outdoors. If you’re into exploring the area, there are 22 waterfalls and many hiking trails, and this park is one of the most visited in the state. Don’t miss this unique and lovely diamond in the rough. 

Open year round, KOA camping areas are a great way to experience a winter getaway with family or spouse. With deluxe cabins that sleep from two to 10 people, you can enjoy the winter wonderland of the Poconos in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in style and comfort. Not far from Shawnee Mountain Ski Area and only an hour from New York City, your home away from home may include full bathroom, kitchen, and living area, or if preferred, no bathroom and kitchen. Ask about bringing your pet when you make your reservation.

Located in the northcentral part of Pennsylvania, Antler Shed Cabins in Benezette, has all the amenities of home with one difference. They’re right in the middle of the largest habitat of elk in the eastern U.S. Don’t be surprised to wake up and see an elk leisurely munching on grass in the front yard or watch a larger herd move up and down the valley as you drive by. Friendly owners will do everything they can to make sure you have a memorable time away, and cabins include fully-equipped kitchens and linens. Check their Facebook page for winter specials. 

Weedville, Pennsylvania, is the perfect place to stay for a time away. Located in the heart of elk country, there are streams and creeks nearby that attract many of the local animals, and it’s not unusual to see elk, wild turkeys, and deer around the area. All cabins have fully-equipped kitchens that include stove, refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. Linens are provided, and the romantic cabins each have a whirlpool tub big enough for two. There are cabins for two to six people and a wheelchair-accessible family cabin. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-pennsylvania http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-pennsylvania Wed, 10 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in Pennsylvania Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Taking the family on a ski vacation is an excellent option in Pennsylvania. From the magnificent Poconos to the Endless Mountains, skiing and snowboarding opportunities abound in the Keystone State. Whether you’re looking to cruise down a double black diamond or you’re sticking to the snow tubing park, there’s something for the whole family at these 10 ski destinations in Pennsylvania. 

If you’re looking for a great destination for some fun family time away from home, Spring Mountain Adventures is the place to check. Open year round, it’s especially fun in the winter when you and your family can experience skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sit around in the great outdoors, or enjoy some hot cocoa in the warm indoors. Located in Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, this place is perfect for first-timers because it’s a great place to learn. If you’re not sure you’ll like snow sports, don’t spend money buying expensive equipment and clothes. Bring your warm clothes from home and rent the equipment you need at the resort. You can sign up for lessons, too. Fourth graders can sign up for a free season pass that includes a lesson, rentals, and a half-price lift ticket. 

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With over 330 acres to explore in the beautiful Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, Bear Creek Mountain Resort is a great family destination. Build great memories with your family while you enjoy some serious winter fun. Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, tubing, spa treatments, great dining and hotel choices, and special events. You don’t need a special reason, but your visit will be special for you and your family. 

The beautiful Pocono Mountains are the backdrop for the Blue Mountain Ski Area, located in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. For over 40 years, Blue Mountain has been offering family vacation fun and frolicking in the winter. With 23 trails and five lifts that take you to the top of the mountain for skiing and 10 snowboarding lanes that are open on a daily basis, fun is definitely on the agenda. Because safety is important, Blue Mountain also has a Learning Center that offers ski and snowboarding lessons for all ages. There’s no reason not to come!

Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. between the two locations, Jack Frost and Big Boulder is one park that’s a great family destination for wintertime fun. The snow conditions are looking good, and don’t worry if you’ve forgotten something. JFBB has three retail shops that have apparel, helmets, and much more. You can even plan to dine while on the mountain at several great places that will satisfy anyone’s appetite.

Voted the top place to learn to ski in the U.S., Camelback Mountain Resort is also the biggest snow tubing park in the country. Located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, the resort is open for fun for all ages. Season passes are available, and there are free surprises if you book before the end of March. There are daily activities and special events planned throughout the year, and there’s no better place to spend time making memories with your family. 

Located in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, Roundtop Mountain Resort is open for business and great family fun every day during the winter except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Ski and snowboarding lessons, including beginner classes are available on a daily basis, and there’s even a ski and board camp for kids aged four to 12. Trails are marked for easy understanding, and there are guest services, food, and other amenities on site, too.

Family fun and togetherness is the name of the game this winter at Montage Mountain near Scranton, Pennsylvania. Skiers and riders of all shapes and sizes will be on the slopes and down the lanes for a day of frosty fun. Airboarding is a new sport that’s been added to the list of fun things to do for those who aren’t sure about standing on the snow. Montage Mountain has 26 trails of the most spectacular views for beginners and experts, and if you’ve never gone night skiing and want to try it, you’re in for a special treat. 

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Endless fun is found on the Endless Mountains, of which Elk Mountain is part. Located in Union Dale, Pennsylvania, there isn’t a friendlier place to enjoy winter sports with your family. One of the many places throughout the state where you can ski, Elk Mountain was one of the first to offer it in the late 1950s. Now there’s a ski school, a maintenance facility, 27 slopes and trails, and the ability to help Mother Nature a little when there’s not quite enough snow on the ground. There are many choices for places to stay and eat in the local area so there’s no shortage of fun and food. 

Located in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Tussey Mountain was opened in the 1960s for public use, and has changed a bit over the years. Now with 50 acres of skiing and snowboarding slopes, Tussey Mountain is one of the most fun places to go for winter sport activities. Open every day except major holidays from December to mid-March, Tussey Mountain has seven trails for skill levels from beginner to advanced and offers night skiing for those interested. 

Family-friendly Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, is a great place to learn your favorite winter sport. With the help of knowledgeable instructors, this four-season resort is the perfect family getaway. If you’re just introducing skiing and snowboarding to your young ones, you can start them off right with one of the educational programs offered at Whitetail Resort. There’s a mountain camp for kids aged four through 12, a “Ski with Me” lesson that allows parent and child to learn together, and private lessons available. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-pennsylvania http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-pennsylvania Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600
A beginnerโ€™s guide: Ice fishing Vin T. Sparano, as excerpted from Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia: Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Boating, Wilderness Survival, First Aid

 

 

Ice fishing differs greatly from open-water fishing, and it is a demanding sport. It requires an understanding of and an ability to cope with winter weather, knowledge of the cold-weather habits of the fish, and the use of an unusual assortment of gear, most of it unique to ice fishing.

There are two basic ice-fishing methods: tip-up fishing and jigging. In general, tip-ups are usually used on larger fish—pike, pickerel, walleyes, trout, and such—that prefer bait and require the angler to play the waiting game. Jigging is usually preferred for smaller fish that tend to school up—bluegills, perch, crappies, and the like. But these are merely generalizations, not hard-and-fast rules. For example, jigging (sometimes called chugging) is often quite productive on big lake trout and salmon in the Great Lakes. 

Also called tilts, these come in various styles, but they all perform two basic functions: they hold a baited line leading from a revolving-type reel spool, and they signal the bite of a fish. The most common type of tip-up consists of three strips of wood, each about 18 inches long. Two are cross pieces that form an X as they span the hole. The third piece is an upright; at its bottom end is attached a simple line-holding spool, while the upper end holds the signaling device. The signal is usually a piece of very flexible spring steel with a red (some anglers prefer black) flag on the end. After the hook is baited and lowered to the desired depth, the steel arm is “cocked”—bent over and down and hooked onto a “trigger.” When a fish strikes, an arm on the revolving spool releases the steel arm and it flies erect.

In this type of tip-up, the reel is positioned underwater. In other variations, the reel is positioned above the ice. Each type has its advantages. The above-the-ice reel can be more sensitively adjusted for light-biting fish, but the line tends to freeze on the reel once it gets wet. The underwater reel largely eliminates the problem of freezing, but the fisherman must remove the tip-up from the hole before he can grab the line.

Baits for tip-up fishing are usually live. In general, it pays to match the size of the bait to the size of the fish you’re after. Baits range from tiny maggots (often called mousies) and grubs for panfish, to worms and small minnows for walleyes, and up to 6-inch baitfish for pike. 

As done by ice fishermen, jigging is simply a method of imparting an up-and-down movement to a lure or bait. Jigging can be—and is—done with any sort of line-holding rod or stick. 

Some jigging rods—more appropriately called sticks—are simply pieces of wood 18 inches or so long, with U-shaped notches in each end. The line—10-pound-test monofilament is very popular—is wound lengthwise onto the stick around the U-shaped notches and is paid out as needed. There are other types of jigging sticks of varying designs, and many ice anglers use standard spinning or spincast rods or the butt half of a fly rod. 

Rods made specially for ice jigging are simple affairs consisting of a fiberglass tip section that is 2 or 3 feet long seated in a short butt. The butt may have a simple revolving-spool reel or merely a pair of heavy-wire projections around which the line is wound. The tip section may have two to four guides, including the tip guide. The shortness of such a rod lets the user fish up close to the hole and have better control over the lure or bait at the end of his line. 

There are many and varied jigging lures and baits, but flashiness is built into most of them. Others produce best when “sweetened” with bait. Two popular jigging lures are: an ungainly looking critter with a heavy body shaped and painted to resemble a baitfish, a hook at each end and a treble hook in the middle of its underside, and a line-tie ring in the middle of its upper surface; and a long, slim, three- or four-sided, silvery model with a treble hook at one end and a line-tie ring at the other. 

Jigging methods vary with the fisherman and with the fish being sought. However, a productive way to fish many jigging lures, especially flashier types, is to twitch the lure slightly and then jerk it suddenly upward with a quick upward movement of the arm. The proper interval between jerks is learned with experience. 

Popular jigging baits include a single perch eye (either impaled on a small hook or used to sweeten a tiny hair or rubber-bodied ice fly), worms, grubs, maggots, insect larvae, minnows, and cut bait (pieces of skin or flesh that are cut from the tail or body of such fish as smelt and perch). 

Jiggers tend to move around more than tip-up fishermen, boring holes in different areas until they find a productive spot. 

Like most other forms of fishing, ice angling requires some auxiliary equipment. Most ice anglers prefer to keep such gear to a minimum, for they have to haul it with them wherever they go on the ice. 

If you’re going to fish through holes in the ice, you need something to make those holes. The ice auger is a popular tool for this job. Augers come in different designs. One has a long handle with a U-shaped bend at the top, and a rounded cutting blade at the bottom. The handle is turned much like that of a manual drill, and the blade cuts a round hole through the ice. Another type looks like a giant ice drill with sharp, widely spaced threads. It is used in the same way. Gasoline-powered ice drills are also available. 

Then there’s the ice spud or chisel. This is a heavy metal handle with a large, chisel-type blade at the bottom. The spud’s weight helps the angler punch down through the ice, but the user must shape the hole once he has broken through. 

An indispensable item of accessory gear is the ice skimmer, a ladle-type device that is used to keep the hole clear of ice chips and chunks and to skim ice. A heavy sinker will serve the same purpose. 

Many ice anglers like to use an attached spring clip. It is attached to the fishing line and used to determine the water depth—an important factor because in winter most game fish are found on or near the bottom. 

Winter is the time of year when ice fishermen venture out onto frozen waters. Most will have fun, but a few will get into trouble because they don’t know how to make sure that the ice is safe. The first rule is never take chances. There are two periods when accidents are likely to happen: early in the season when slush ice doesn’t freeze uniformly and late in the season when ice melts at an uneven rate. It takes prolonged periods of freezing to make ice safe. Here are some rules to remember: 

Be cautious of heavy snowfalls while ice is forming. Snow acts as an insulator. The result is a layer of slush and snow on top of treacherous ice. 

Clear, solid river ice is 15 percent weaker than clear lake ice. 

River ice is thinner midstream than near the banks. 

River mouths are dangerous because currents create pockets of unsafe ice. 

When walking with friends, stay 10 yards apart. 

Lakes that have a lot of springs will have weak spots of ice. 

 

 

 

 

About the author:

Vin T. Sparano is the author of Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia as well as three other guides for Rizzoli

He has been an outdoor editor and writer for more than fifty years. He is editor emeritus of Outdoor Life, and has written and edited more than fifteen books about the outdoors. In 2013, he was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/a-beginners-guide-ice-fishing http://stepoutside.org/article/a-beginners-guide-ice-fishing Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600