Well… it’s getting colder, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! With winter right around the bend, now is the perfect time to start planning your ski trips for the season. I’m not talking about expensive trips to Colorado or Vermont either. Thanks to the Appalachian Mountains, western Pennsylvania offers some great slopes for the novice and expert skier alike. Whether you make it for just the afternoon, or stay for the weekend, it’s a great time of year to get outside and try some extreme winter sports!
Aside from being my personal favorite, Seven Springs is also one of the most popular skiing destinations in the Pittsburgh area. Sure, it’s a bit of a drive from the city – but the resort offers everything you could ever want in a ski (or snowboarding, or spa) trip. Need some help learning how to master those skis or snowboard? Visit Seven Springs’ Snowsports School and have professional instructors help you navigate the slopes. Do your kids (or you) love snow tubing? Seven Springs has 12 chutes to keep you going. Want to show off on a half-pipe? Knock yourself out (not literally though)! And don’t worry about bringing your own equipment. The resort offers top-of-the-line boards and skis, and the staff will make sure that everything fits perfectly. And if mom isn’t ready to spend hours in the snow, she can wander on over to the Trillium Spa for some rest and relaxation. There’s so much to do at Seven Springs, that you might want to consider spending a few days there. In addition to a hotel on the premises, there are multiple rentals nearby, ranging from simple cabins to elaborate cottages.
Hidden Valley Resort
One Craighead Drive
P.O. Box 4420
Hidden Valley, PA 15502
With 28 trails and 9 lifts in the beautiful Laurel Mountains, Hidden Valley Resort is the perfect winter retreat. Ranging from novice trails to double diamond expert trails, everyone will be able to find a slope that works for them. In addition to the trails, there’s also a ton of activities to keep the whole family happy. There are over 30 miles of cross country trails, a half-pipe, and a comprehensive kids program that provides activities and lessons to children ages 3 and up! Of course, a ski resort wouldn’t be complete without snow tubing, and Hidden Valley offers plenty of chutes, including the Ice Monster – the longest, steepest, snow tubing run in Pennsylvania! After a long day on the slopes, enjoy the Mountain Spa, the indoor pool, or cuddle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. There are plenty of lodges and vacation rentals in the area to accommodate your over-night needs, including Hidden Valley’s own Four Seasons Lodges.
If you’re looking for a close-by place to ski or snowboard for the day, Boyce Park won’t disappoint. It doesn’t offer the same extreme slopes or resort atmosphere as the others on this list, but it’s still a great spot for winter sports! Located conveniently in Monroeville, Boyce Park is a good place to bring the kids since the commute will be short and the slopes will be pretty manageable for the novice skier. And if the kids are interested in ski lessons, there are some great, affordable classes offered here. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Boyce Park also offers snow tubing for anyone seeking downhill thrills! Another great feature that Boyce Park offers is on-site rental equipment for some very reasonable prices. Make sure to check out their website here for more information on pricing.
Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at For the Fun of Fit.