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Fancy winter adventures with friends and family? Here are five ways to ski, tube, and snowboard, all within a five-hour drive of Delaware.
In a flatter state than a box of Grotto Pizza, we are fortunate to live within a few hours’ drive of the excitement of winter sports. Break out of the winter doldrums with an adrenaline rush down a mountain. Here are some favorite places to have fun on the slopes.
Despite its reputation for exhausting physical activity, cross-country skiing is like “walking, but sliding”. So says Hans Karlsen, owner of the longtime favorite Cross-country ski center (three hour drive to 1480 Route 23, Sussex, New Jersey), which spans state parkland and is the only professionally groomed and maintained cross-country ski trail in Garden State .
At 1,600 feet above sea level – the literal highest point in the state – snow arrives earlier and lasts longer than other places on the map nearby. With new equipment to rent, stunning views of three different states, and peaceful trails through wind-filtering hollows, High Point is a breathtaking retreat in the shadow of High Point Monument, dedicated to New Jersey veterans. Locals know they visit Tuesday through Thursday, when the smallest crowds can experience leisurely night skiing.
Head a little further north to a town once frequented by loggers and trappers, and explore the Catskill Mountains in a snowball atmosphere while trekking hemlock shaded trails through the forest. Mountain trails Cross-country skiing (four hour drive from Mountain Trails Cross Country, 6198 Main St., Tannersville, NY) is a highly affordable mountain getaway – only S20 for a day pass, $ 20 for equipment rental – with a multitude of guest rooms dotting the area.
Camel snow tubing (two hour drive from 107 Resort Drive, Tannersville, Pa; 570-629-1661) loves the idea that a big rubber inner tube is indeed, sometimes, the funniest way to go down a mountain. The famous ski resort pays just as much attention to its 40 dedicated tubing lanes. Magic carpet-style elevators transport tubers quickly up the slope to maximize runs during two-hour sessions. Remember to book after dark, when the tracks light up and turn into “galactic” snowtubing.
The tube park at Liberty Mountain Resort (formerly Boulder Ridge) has recently had a makeover for this season, thanks to a partnership with Bubly sparkling water. The new tube park features redesigned tubes and whimsical orientation signage.
Covered with slippery artificial snow, the tube tracks Iron Valley Tube (1.5 hour drive from 201 Iron Valley Drive, Lebanon, PA; 717-279-7409) are known for their speed. The food and drink options at this converted golf course are country club quality at the rustic open-air Miner’s Pub.
Once the greens turn white for the winter, families travel in droves to AvalancheXpress (1.5 hour drive to 2700Mount Rose Ave., York, Pennsylvania; 717-755-0123), on the Heritage Hills Golf Resort site. Stay relaxed and level as the riser tube gently guides you up the 80-foot hill, before descending for another of countless runs.
Until April, take a guided tour and explore the snow-capped mountain trails in a snowmobile rented from Rip Van Winkle Ranch (four hour drive to 5305 NY-23A, Haines Falls, New York). Delaware State Forest (a three-hour drive from Dingmans Ferry, Pa .; 570-895-4000) maintains nearly 115 miles of snowmobile trails open to the public with options for long and short trips. Allegheny National Forest (a five-hour drive from Marienville, Pa .; 814-927-5700) connects to a network of other forests to include 360 miles of trails, including the 114-mile Allegheny Snowmobile Loop. With some of the highest elevations in the state, scenery and snow are plentiful.