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Pa. State Parks, Forests Offer Visitors A Winter Playground

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's state forest and park systems again are rolling out the welcome mat for winter visitors intent on enjoying cold-weather outdoor fun.

"As the temperatures turn and seasonable and snow and ice begin to accumulate, our state forests and parks transform into a new world of outdoor excitement and adventure," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan said.

"We are hoping families seek out a sledding hill at a nearby state park or stroll on a forest trail and enjoy the beauty and peace winter landscapes offer," Allan said. "For others, snowmobile and ATV trails have opened, and hunters and anglers will be heading to our state forests and parks for late-season hunting and ice fishing."

Below is a list of activities and events that visitors can explore this winter:

Winter Events:  State parks and forests host winter festivals with games, dog-sled races, sleigh rides and fun competitions for families. To view all scheduled activities around the state, visit www.getoutdoorspa.state.pa.us.

Overnight Stays: The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle offers a great launching point for winter activities like cross-country skiing or for other outdoor adventures in the Pennsylvania Wilds. It offers modern overnight accommodations and breakfast, as well as a large stone fireplace in the great room where guests can warm up after outdoor activities.

Several state parks have winter cabin rentals available. Reservations can be made by calling toll-free, 1-888-PA-PARKS (1-888-727-2757), Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Snowmobiling: Snowmobiling is available where conditions permit and is offered through April 1, 2013. Snowmobile riders in Pennsylvania's state forests and parks have access to almost 3,000 miles of marked joint-use state forest roads, closed roads and trails in 18 of the state's 20 state forest districts and in 32 state parks. More than 170 miles of winter ATV trails in seven state forest districts are also open. 

DCNR is providing condition updates toll-free through 1-877-SNOMBLE (1-877-766-6253). Recorded messages, providing reports on snow depths and trail conditions across the state, are updated around noon each Tuesday and Thursday.

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