The Great Outdoors: Is Winter Finally Here to Stay?

winterIs winter finally here to stay?

The weather forecast for the next few weeks looks favorable for those who enjoy the season.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some snow and cold to bring the conditions we need to enjoy activities such as cross- country skiing, sled riding and just tracking critters through the woods.

And wouldn’t it be nice if we had snowier conditions for all the winter weather events planned across the region for the next month?

If you are looking to become more familiar to what the outdoors has to offer, here are some events that will help you out.

OK, this one has nothing to do with winter, but if you are curious about beekeeping, now is the time to find out.

The Create Cafe in Brookville will host an Introduction to Bees program from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, February 9. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature Jeff Hartzell of the Jefferson County Bee Association, who will be educating visitors on how to attract bees and other pollinators as well as giving some tips on the wonderful world of beekeeping. For more information call (814) 271-7726.

The weekend of February 18-19 has some interesting events going on.

The Jefferson County Longrifles will hold their 41st Annual Winter Rendezvous February 18-19 in Harriger Hollow, Ramsaytown near Brookville.

The Longrifles event is home of the First Eastern Primitive Rendezvous.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to Noon Sunday.

Shooting competitions will include paper targets, and the mountain man trail. There will also be aggregates and cash targets. Only traditional guns may be used.

Traders are welcome too, and food will be available as well as camping.

Pets are welcome but must be leashed. No artificial music or fireworks are allowed.

The GPS address is 1000 Harriger Hollow Road, Ramsaytown.

For more information, call 814-849-6220.

Also that weekend, Cook Forest State Park has events planned both days

Saturday, February 18 is Snowman in the Forest Day. There will be a full day of fun, winter activities along the picturesque National Wild and Scenic Clarion River within the park.

Various activities will be held at the Ice Skating Pond, along River Road, about one mile upriver from the park office.

Things begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and a free Chili Cook-Off with hot and mild divisions.

From noon to 1:15 p.m., there will be a snowshoe interpretive hike within the old growth forest along Cook Trail. Meet at the fire pit by the ice skating pond.

From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be carriage rides, sledding, snowman building and ice skating. Ice skates will be available.

At 1:00 p.m., the Happy Dog contest will be held and at 2:00 p.m., door prizes will be awarded.

Hot chocolate, coffee, and a warming hut will be on hand to help take the chill out of your bones.

Sunday, February 19, there will be a Cross Country Ski Program.

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., join Venture Outdoors program leaders at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom for an intermediate cross country ski program along the trails of Cook Forest.

The program is being sponsored by Venture Outdoors.

To register and for more information, call Liz Fager at 412-255-0564.


“The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, is a weekly blog by’s Scott Shindledecker. Plan your next outdoor adventure at or call (814) 849-5197 for more information.

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