The PA Wilds can be surprisingly rugged and vast. So when Warren County Winterfest boasts itself as the biggest winter event in the region it better be able to deliver. Since 1993 Winterfest has absolutely delivered, with an array of amazing events that define the very ruggedness of which this special part of Pennsylvania embodies. Case in point: the Allegheny National Forest Snowmobile Loop cuts through Winterfest, so if it strikes you ride up in your snowmobile. Their will be parking for your machine!
Held at the beautiful Chapman State Park, Winterfest is pleasantly geared to the frontiersman in all of us. Men and women alike will test their fortitude in the Polar Bear Plunge. Ice openings cut right into the creek make the event look more like the Yukon than Pennsylvania. More arctic than that is the very impressive thirty-two mile dog sled race held on opening day. The race is free to the public. Afterwards tickets are available for a Musher’s Dinner with the racers. Saturday, national champion weight-pulling dogs square off in contests of brute strength. It is a don’t-miss event.
More tame-hearted activities at Winterfest include skiing and of course, a big sled riding hill. There are spots open for Ice Fishing too – just remember that PA regulations still apply. Register your cardboard racer for the Cardboard Box Derby. Also, teams can pre-register for a Pond Hockey Tournament. Throughout the weekend artist and novice alike will be patting down the drifty snow for to make snow sculptures that puts frosty to shame!
Winterfest comes hard, refusing to back down but ever inclusive of all brave souls looking for a day of heart-pounding fun. Sure, this may be the biggest winter event in the PA Wilds, but more importantly it’s the most exciting. The North-Country feel of this festival is largely due to the local folks running the show. Cut from a different cloth, you might expect that any given weekend they’d try that polar bear plunge just for the fun of it. Either way, Warren County Winterfest is guaranteed to shake away that cabin fever and make for an amazing day!
Admission is free and parking is free.