If cabin fever is beginning to set it, you can enjoy and sample a taste of the great outdoors by attending Blue Mountain Resort’s 11th annual Winter Fest on Jan. 25 and 26.
Even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, the event will cater to all, including youngsters.
The two-day event will take place at the Summit Lodge at the top of Pennsylvania’s highest vertical on School Hill on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Winter Festival will include ice carvings, real sled dogs, Snow Making Tours from Blue’s Mountain Ops Team, Snowga (yoga on snow), snowshoe demonstrations and a variety of vendors plus a kid’s area that will include an ice sliding board.
In addition to the event, the USA Olympic Luge Team will host their 2020 Luge Challenge from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday (weather permitting).
Guests can experience the exhilaration of the Winter Games by riding a luge on the only natural East Coast USA Luge track that will be open to the public. USA Luge Team coaches will be on-site to evaluate each luge run and will be scouting for potential candidates. For example, in 2017, Brianna Gosnel was recruited for the USA Luge Team after she impressively ran the track at Blue Mountain.
Then on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., a fireworks display will be set off by Skyshooter Displays, ZY Pyrotechnics, all viewable from both the Summit and Valley lodges.
For skiers/boarders, Blue Mountain offers 40 trails, 16 lifts and up to 34 tubing lanes that will be open and available during the event from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday, and from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, check www.skibluemt.com.
According to On the Water Magazine, anglers were recently catching and releasing trout below the outlet at Beltzville Lake. Anglers are reminded that the section of the Pohopoco Creek from the outlet of Beltzville Lake, downstream to the cable across the creek at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club, is designated as a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. The Extended Trout Season on this section of stream is open from September 3, 2019 through February 29, 2020 and is a No Harvest – Catch and Immediate Release Only area.
Trout action on Mauch Chunk Creek, and the Lehigh River at Glen Onoko area, has been productive in recent weeks. The Lehigh, however, has been flowing higher than normal due to recent rain events. Buckwa Creek and Aquashicola Creek are streams that may also provide good trout fishing opportunities. Then there’s Sand Spring Run, located at Hickory Run State Park, is also a good choice to catch brook trout.
Anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake near Boat Launch A had some nice catches of perch and bluegills. Beltzville had produced decent bass action near the dam breast and in the upper reaches of the Pohopoco Creek bay area of the lake. Anglers were also catching a few striped bass from the shore near the boat rental building. Majority of the stripers were caught using live bait or chicken livers.
Most of the ice that formed on Mauch Chunk and Beltzville lakes has now deteriorated due to the recent rains and warmer weather. Future ice fishing opportunities will hopefully occur if and when colder weather arrives.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.