Tioga County -- Winterfest 2022 offers family-oriented activities no matter the winter weather -- snow or no snow, ice or no ice!
The events will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, about seven miles northeast of Wellsboro. Everything is free.
Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available to everyone from 11 a.m. until gone. Fire rings and burn barrels will help visitors stay warm.
Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. if snow and ice conditions allow, there will be the traditional Winterfest tubing, tobogganing and sledding on Beach Front Hill, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on park trails, ice skating on Hills Creek Lake and snowshoe and cross-country ski mini-clinics in the park.
People of all ages can join park staff and volunteers for a short, hands-on mini-clinic followed by practicing skiing or snowshoeing on their own.
Tubes for two and some sleds, ice skates, snowshoes and cross-country skis, boots and poles will be available for youth and adults to sign out and use free during the day; quantities are limited. Those who have their own equipment are encouraged to bring it.
Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., build a free bluebird nesting box to take home (one per family while supplies last) or make-and-take children's crafts, such as pinecone bird feeders made using peanut butter or sunflower seed butter.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission provides the bluebird nesting boxes and local birders assist people in building them.
Tiadaghton Audubon Society members will have a birding display and lead two 30-minute birding walks. Bring binoculars and cameras. Binoculars and field guides can be used for free.
An interactive talk on “Animals in Winter” for all ages with a display of photographs, mounts, furs and other hands-on examples of animal adaptations will be given at noon and again at 1 p.m. Bears hibernate in winter, and some birds migrate, but what do other animals do in the colder months? Discover the different ways Pennsylvania wildlife spend the winter and some awesome adaptations that help them survive.
Ice fishing demonstrations and tips and tricks on how to get started will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If the ice is not thick enough on Hills Creek Lake for groups, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will host an on-land demonstration only.
Snow and ice condition updates will be posted on Facebook at Step Outdoors Tioga PA or at https://www.stepoutdoors.org. For more information, call the Hills Creek State Park office at 570-724-4246 weekdays.