Philadelphia: America's History To Close-by Skiing And Riding -

Pennsylvania is a big state, as anyone can see who has driven from one end to the other, and much of it is quite rural. Founded by William Penn, the state has embraced a broad range of groups, from Quakers to Amish to Pennsylvania Dutch, and more. The state also is scene of much American history, from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where the Liberty Bell hangs, to Gettysburg, the greatest battlefield of the Civil War, where two armies met in a battle that, at the time, seemed inconclusive but which proved to be the beginning of the end of the conflict.

There are mountains as well, so it should come as no surprise that more than two dozen ski areas grace the state, from the Laurel Highlands to the Pocono Mountains.

Philadelphia, at the eastern end of Pennsylvania, also sits at the hub of a road network that can lead skiers and snowboarders to an array of ski areas less than 100 miles away, from the modest Spring Mountain, 25 miles distant, to Blue Mountain, about an hour away.

Spring Mountain has a vertical of 420 feet, six lifts including three doubles, a triple and two surface lifts, which serve eight trails and two tubing runs. Bear Creek Mountain Resort, 43 miles from Philadelphia, has a vertical drop of 510 feet, seven lifts including two quads, a triple, a double, and three magic carpets, 21 trails, and 100 percent night skiing.

Blue Mountain has 33 trails, three terrain parks and a 350-foot-long half-pipe, with all terrain lighted for night skiing. Trails are serviced by nine lifts including a high-speed detachable six- seater and quad lifts. Hone your skills in one of our three Learning Centers, one serviced by a triple chair. Snow tube on 14 slides, with three levels of excitement, and three tow lifts.

Ski Roundtop is 72 miles away, with a 600-foot vertical drop, 10 lifts, and 16 trails.

Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, 75 miles from Philadelphia, has a vertical drop of 700 feet, 22 slopes and trails, two terrain parks and a snowtubing park, served by a quad, a triple, four doubles, three carpets, a snowtubing carpet, and one tubing tow. The longest trail is just under a mile. Shawnee, located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, offers day and night skiing and full snowmaking coverage.

Camelback Ski Area is located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, 76 miles from the city. It has 33 trails on 160 skiable acres, 800-foot vertical drop, and 17 lifts including two high-speed quads, three triples, seven doubles, a surface lift at SunKid and four tubing lifts, snowboard halfpipe, two terrain parks, and a wide selection of trails for all ability levels. It offers snowmaking and night skiing on all trails.

Big Boulder, 78 miles away, is Pocono country. You will find 15 slopes and trails, beginner through expert, 475 foot vertical, 55 acres skiable terrain, and nine lifts. The Mountain Dew Terrain Park and halfpipe cater to snowboarders. Snow tubing is available with 12 single chutes, a double chute, family area, and five lifts. The ski area's sister is Jack Frost.

Alpine Mountain is nestled in the Pocono Mountains, 80 miles from Philadelphia, and boasts 120 skiable acres with a vertical of 500 feet. There are 21 runs serviced by five lifts including two quads, one double, and two surface chairlifts.

Jack Frost Mountain is 82 miles away, located in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania and sister mountain of nearby Big Boulder, has 20 trails and a terrain park, beginner through expert, 100 skiable acres, 100 percent snowmaking, 600 foot vertical, served by 10 chairs and one magic carpet. Snow tubing also is available with eight chutes (singles and doubles) and four lifts.

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