Winter Recreation in Somerset County

When the snowflakes start falling, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, becomes a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. The county boasts 3 downhill ski resorts, along with miles of XC (cross country) ski trails and even more miles of snowmobile trails. Plus, there is an abundance of other outdoor recreation, including snowshoeing, sled riding on a lighted hillside at Laurel Hill State Park, and outdoor beauty that makes touring the county a memorable experience.

Skiers and snowboarders are drawn each year to Somerset County’s Seven Springs Mountain Resort for its diverse trail network and expansive amenities, the resort serves up 33 slopes and trails of every difficulty rating, plus 7 progressive terrain parks across 289 skiable acres. The resort hosts hundreds of thousands of guests each winter and the mountain is always buzzing when the slopes are open. With over 400 hotel rooms and an even larger array of other lodging, Seven Springs Resort is the perfect winter destination for everyone.

In search of a laid back, perfect destination for families, Somerset County offers that at Hidden Valley Resort, a sister resort to Seven Springs Resort. Hidden Valley offers 26 slopes and trails, the best snowmaking and grooming in the region and 9 lifts to get everyone up the mountain for a fun filled day.

The resort amenities include, dining, full-service ski shop, ski school and other services.

The final downhill ski destination is Laurel Mountain Resort. Nestled in Laurel Mountain State Park, this iconic and revered ski resort boasts the highest vertical drop (761 feet) on the Laurel Ridge of Pennsylvania and is even more well known for its double diamond Lower Wildcat Slope, which is the steepest in the state at nearly 60%. With 20 groomed slopes and trails, Laurel Mountain is a perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. While no lodging is available onsite, local hotels are within an easy drive.

Snowmobiling continues to grow in popularity and Somerset County offers hundreds of miles of trails dedicated to this outdoor sport. See the county’s wintry landscape across open terrain and forests and experience the beauty of the snow falling across the mountains. Forbes State Forest has over 120 miles with directional signage to help you safely navigate the terrain. Information is available on the DCNR website www.dcnr.pa.gov/recreation.

XC Skiing has a very dedicated audience, who primarily travel to Laurel Ridge State Park to take advantage of over 20 miles of XC Trails, much of which is groomed. Newcomers can even schedule free lessons from the Pennsylvania Cross Country Skiers Association. Other XC locations include Kooser State Park, other sections of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail. For info, see www.dcnr.pa.gov/recreation.

Coinciding with XC and increasing in popularity every year is snowshoeing. This sport doesn’t require a groomed trail and offers a great opportunity to hit the numerous hiking trails in Somerset County after a nice snowfall, take in the breathtaking outdoor scenery of our winter wonderland. Warming huts are available to cross county skiers and snowshoers along with an experienced ski patrol to aid guests with trail conditions.

Getting here is easy, as there are an abundance of major highways running through the area, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Route 76) with exit 110 entering directly into the borough of Somerset, providing a great east and west connection. U.S. Route 219 with its recent expansion easily connects to U.S. Route 68. The historic National Road (Route 40) and the Lincoln Highway (Route 30) both travel through Somerset County, as well. These two highways are designated heritage corridors and offer scenic tours of historic and cultural aspects of the county.

With millions of visitors a year experiencing the winter recreation in Somerset County, there is an abundance of guest services and attractions available, including lodging, dining, shopping, wineries, breweries, and an array of others. As an agriculture county, local products are readily available, including our famous Somerset County Maple Syrup.

While winter kicks off almost as soon as the snow falls and the temperatures drop, January is always the month for the Fire & Ice Festival, which celebrates our winter heritage. Held each year, on the streets of Somerset, ice carvings, art and craft vendors, food trucks, fireworks and family-oriented games and activities all come together for a special weekend celebration. This year’s festival will be held January 14-16, 2022. For more information and event schedules contact Somerset Inc. at info@somersetinc.com.

Winter takes on a festive identity in Somerset County and has been welcoming skiers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts to the mountains for nearly a century to experience all this county has to offer.  Whether you’re an active participant or more of an observer, Somerset County has something for everyone. And, yes, we do a great job keeping our roads open and safe to travel all year long. Explore Somerset County!

Winter Recreation in Somerset County

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