Most extreme winter adventures near Philadelphia

Winter in Pennsylvania can be a magical time, where snow-dusted beauty abounds in state parks and forests, bustling with outdoor fun for all ages. While Philadelphia itself is lacking in mountains, there are plenty within a two-hour car ride. Whether you decide to enjoy an urban oasis, or head out into the snowy mountainside, be sure to add one of these invigorating outdoor winter activities to your itinerary.

Bobsleigh teamAksonov

Blue Mountain Ski Area in the Pocono Mountains is home to the only natural East Coast USA Luge track open to the public and the state's highest vertical. With twists, turns and more than 400,000 cubic feet of snow, you'll feel the wind on your face and your heart race as you plunge down an almost 2,000-foot-long course. Riders can choose to hop on a tube, mini-bobsled or a luge sled.

Mountain Coaster

Stop by Camelback Mountain Adventures this winter to experience the only mountain coaster in Pennsylvania. The 4,500-foot long, steel-track coaster traverses through the trees and down the steep slopes of Camelback's mountains. For another adventurous ride, glide through and over the trees 85 feet above the slopes on Camelback's twin zip lines.

Cupid's Undie Run

While there are a few road races happening in Philadelphia throughout January and February, the Cupid's Undie Run is the most extreme, si in February, be part of something great. Cupid's Run is a "brief" fun-run that takes place in the middle of a BIG party. Undies are encouraged, but by no means required – so whether you start a team for your friends, join a team or run solo, just come out, have a blast and raise some money for NF research!

Winter Paintball
paintballLenorlux via Getty Images

Open year round, Skirmish USA, in Albrightsville, is a premier 700-acre paintball facility with more than 50 playing fields and a variety of games players can choose from. Challenge your friends, family or co-workers to a game and show off your paintballing skills while trekking through the snowy fields.

Snow Tubing

Many Pennsylvania ski areas offer snow tubing, a fantastic alternative for those who prefer not to get into ski boots. And forget dragging your ride up the hill – magic carpets and rope tows do all the work for you. Camelback Mountain in the Pocono Mountains boasts the largest tubing park in the U.S. with 42 sledding lanes, while AvalancheXpress at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York has a seven-story, 900-foot tubing hill.

Mercersburg's Whitetail Resort is also known for its excellent sledding terrain; book a tubing party or purchase one- to two-hour blocks of riding time. For an old-fashioned ride, try Eagles Mere Toboggan Slide, which has amused kids of all ages since the early 1800s.

Elisa Domenick is a writer and documentary filmmaker with a passion for adventure and exploring places off the beaten path.