The 2019 Winter Outings Series continues. All activities are free and open to people from beginners to the experienced and of all ages, including adults and children under adult supervision.
Dress for the weather, including wearing proper footwear with traction devices if necessary or, if there is enough snow, snowshoes or cross-country skis. Bring water and a snack. Cross-country skis and snowshoes with traction devices will be available to use free during activities. Those who have their own equipment are encouraged to bring it.
Coffee with the Birds is taking place this Saturday, Jan. 5, at Sinnemahoning State Park at 9 a.m. Join park staff indoors for a free cup of coffee, tea or cocoa while participating in a Project Feeder Watch bird count of the feathered visitors to the bird feeders located just outside the Wildlife Center classroom window. Find out how backyard bird counts help scientists track the health of the environment. Learn about birdseeds that are available and the different birds they attract.
Preregistration is not required for this free, one-hour program at the Sinnemahoning State Park Office at 4843 Park Dr. in Austin, Potter County. For information, call the park at (814) 647-8401 or email SinnemahoningSP@pa.gov.
Also on Saturday, Jan. 5, is the Eagle Watch in Tioga. At 1 p.m. this Saturday, a one-hour Eagle Watch led by local expert Matt West will begin at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Tioga-Hammond Dam spillway at 94-98 South Main St. in Tioga Borough. This is one of the best spots in the area to see bald eagles. Bring a camera. Those who have binoculars are encouraged to bring them, too. A limited number of spotting scopes and binoculars will be available.
West will talk about the life of the bald eagle, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s reintroduction program, how to identify this raptor and areas on Hammond, Tioga and Cowanesque lakes and other locations in Tioga County where people can go to see them. To get to the spillway from Wellsboro, take Route 287 north for 17 miles, turn right at the stop sign onto South Main Street in Tioga Borough, drive to the end of the street, wind past the park entrance gate and drive past the spillway to the parking area.
For information, call the Ives Run Visitor Information Center at (570) 835-5281.
On Sundays, Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27 and continuing through March, Oswald Cycle Works is sponsoring the Mountain and Snow Bike Riding Series. Rides will start at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Appalachian Research Branch at 176 Straight Run Rd., Wellsboro. It is just off Route 6 in Asaph in Shippen Township, eight miles west of Wellsboro.
Each ride will last two to three hours. The routes are always different to keep the rides interesting. Equipment and clothing requirements vary depending on changing weather conditions. Those who have not participated before are welcome to contact Oswald Cycle Works for recommendations.
For weekly updates, contact Tom Oswald at (570) 662-3097, email to email@example.com, or visit https://www.facebook.com/OswalCycleWorks/.
The Tyoga Running Club is hosting free Thursday Night Runs open to the public on Jan. 10, 17, 24 and 31 and continuing through March. Meet at the Packer Park parking lot behind the Wellsboro Senior Center at 3 Queen St. in Wellsboro. The one-hour runs will begin promptly 6 p.m. no matter what the weather conditions. Wearing a headlamp is recommended. There are different pace groups with varying distances for runners of all ages and ability levels.
On Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at the beach area at Hills Creek State Park, learn the basics about how to use cross-country skis and snowshoes during a short mini-clinic. The park’s GPS address is 111 Spillway Rd., Wellsboro, Pa. 16901. It is located in Charleston Township, about eight miles from Wellsboro.
To hold the mini-clinic on grass, only two inches of snow is needed. To hold it on Hills Creek Lake, the ice has to be eight inches thick and covered by a thin layer of fresh snow. For people to test their skills on cross-country skis and snowshoes on park trails and groomed track, there has to be more than three inches of snow.
All equipment for adults and youth will be provided free to use during the mini-clinic and in the park. Those who have skis and/or snowshoes are encouraged to bring them. If the mini-clinic cannot be held due to insufficient snow, those interested in learning how to select skis or snowshoes or those with an organized group are welcome to contact Tim Morey by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up another date and time.
To learn about Winter Outings series events or for updates on trail conditions, directions and more, visit http://www.stepoutdoors.org any time or call (570) 724-0300 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.