Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is well known for offering a wide variety of outdoor activities—and the fun doesn't stop in the winter. So, instead of hibernating indoors, get the family dressed for the cold and work up an appetite with some healthy fun.
Sledding in Tyler State Park
Tyler State Park in Newtown could be described as one giant downhill slope. But one of the best spots for sledding is just below its Upper Plantation Picnic Area parking lot, so it's best to enter the park at the intersection of Swamp Road and Route 413. There is a parking lot and bathrooms conveniently nearby, so it's ideal for families with younger children.
For the more adventurous, the hills to the west of Schofield Ford Covered Bridge are great too, and being a little more off the beaten path, they are not as crowded. Enter the park past Twining Bridge Road or Pennswood Drive, depending on where you’re coming from.
Nockamixon State Park and the smaller Core Creek Park in Langhorne allow cross-country skiing on park trails during the winter months. Skiing will undoubtedly get your heart pumping and will provide you with some of the most picturesque winter views of Bucks County. Be sure to check weather conditions before setting off and always follow marked trails. Several winter sports shops offer ski rentals if you don’t have your own gear. And the Alphorn Ski Association of Bucks County also welcomes anyone interested in learning more about the sport. This club organizes overseas trips for members, local ski days, and social dinners and events.
Winter Fun Runs
Bucks County is a runners’ paradise; it boasts many picturesque trails like the Delaware Canal Towpath, for example. But if you've allowed yourself to slump a little or want to encourage the younger family members to start running, a 5K or four-mile fun run could be just the thing to drag you from the sofa. So, register for the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup 4-Mile Run in Washington Crossing or the Cupid’s Chase 5K in Newtown, or any number of fun runs on offer in the county.
Skating and Ice Fishing on Lake Nockamixon
Lake Nockamixon in Nockamixon State Park is the largest lake in Bucks County. The water's perfect for boating and windsurfing in the summer months, and the surrounding park offers multiple trails to cycle, hike, or horseback ride. There's also an 18-hole disc golf course. In winter, the park trails are open to cross-country skiing and sledding. And, once it's thoroughly frozen, visitors may ice skate on the lake.
Ice fishing is permitted when the ice reaches seven inches thick. It's a fun activity the whole family can participate in. However, it's crucial to have the right equipment and take the necessary safety precautions. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission offers seasonal programs teaching the basics of ice fishing and also offers an “Introduction to Ice Fishing” video series online.
Curling is an Olympic sport and the fastest-growing winter sport globally. The Bucks County Curling Club is situated in Warminster at the Bucks County Ice Sports Center. In 2015 it took over one of the center's ice rinks and created a dedicated curling facility. The club offers classes to anyone keen to learn the game and is seeking to grow its membership. The club is active year-round, with new league sessions starting every quarter. Beginners can sign up for the Learn-to-Curl Class, a two-hour session that will teach you the necessary rules and skills before you start to play. All equipment is provided, so just dress warmly in loose clothing and clean, flat, rubber-soled shoes.
Skating at Bucks County Ice Sports Center
In addition to housing the curling club, the Bucks County Ice Sports Center has designated days and times for public skating. The indoor arena is perfect when bad weather prevents you from being outdoors, or as a place to hone your skills while you wait for the lakes to freeze sufficiently. Bring your skates or rent from the center, which also offers skating lessons. You can also try out hockey or learn figure skating.
Other local public skating venues include the Revolution Ice Gardens in Warminster and Oxford Valley Park (conditions permitting).
Originating in Canada and popularized by the recent Bella Thorne movie Girl, axe-throwing has become a popular sport for those keen on games of skill—or anyone who's ever wanted to participate in a lumberjack competition. Axe-throwing is similar to darts, but players uses hatchets to hit a large wooden target. As you might imagine, don't consider trying axe-throwing in anything but a safe and controlled environment. Instead, organize a group to meet for a fun get-together at one of Bucks County's axe-throwing meeting spots, like Throw House, Bury the Hatchet, or Stumpy’s Hatchet House Bucks County.
Whatever your preference, fitness level, and ability, there is something to keep everyone active and entertained this winter in Bucks County.