Tips for Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing in the Laurel Highlands

Three people cross country skiing in a snow covered landscape

Laurel State Park Cross Country Ski Adventure

While watching the snow fall gently to the ground today, I was taken back a few years to my first experience Cross Country Skiing.
It was in late March that I woke up to the silence of a landscape transformed by a blanket of snow covering literally everything. The world was magical, dusted with glitter, and oh, so clean and crisp.
Being a sun loving, beach town California girl, I never felt the need to make it up to the mountains in my youth. I would have had to compete with the bustling humanity to slide down a crowded hillside in the cold, and honestly, that did not appeal at the time. But 10 years of living in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of PA had shifted my paradigms to the point that I eagerly awaited the first snowfall of each year, and still get into a bit of a mourning period when it warms up in Spring.
Anywhooo… That day in 2010, some kindred spirits decided to get my old bones out and into some XC Skis for the first time.
In those days, I was pretty fit, and believed that I was capable of any activity that was laid out before me. Well, imagine my surprise when I was rudely awakened to my limitations, and had to be pulled out of the snowbanks more times than I could count that first time out. Thank goodness for strong young friends! I can’t remember having laughed so much over such a long period of time, and that was the reasoning I held on to for the following days of major muscle group aches… too much laughter.
I spent the next week watching Youtube videos so I could save face on my subsequent trips to the nicely groomed trails at Laurel Hills State Park, Fort Necessity, and Forbes State Forest, to name a few.
So for the beginners amongst anyone reading who might want to give Snowshoeing or XC Skiing a try, I am offering this wonderful Snow Shoeing link from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Center to help you get off on the right foot. HaHa. Maybe we will cross paths after I strap on some snowshoes and try to stay vertical. If you see an old woman, stuck in a snowbank laughing like a lunatic, please lend a hand.

A Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing in the Laurel Highlands

And remember to laugh often, and blame any aches on having too good of a time.

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