Winter Outings continue on February 29

Winter Outings continue on Saturday, Feb. 29 in Tioga County with outdoor adventures at Mt. Tom and the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and indoors at the Mansfield University Planetarium. 

From 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, two great options are offered to explore the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Participants can choose to hike the Pine Creek Rail Trail in boots starting at the Darling Run Trailhead. Others can climb more than 1,100 feet up Mt. Tom to see the most scenic vistas in this area, offering views of Ansonia and the Upper Pine Creek Valley. Due to snow and/or ice, traction aiding devices such as snowshoes or simple boot cleats may be required for either adventure. Experience and conditioning are required to hike the mountain or to snowshoe. 

The winter hike along this section of the Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of the most beautiful and accessible. Dress in layers. Bring a snack and water. Those who have snowshoes and traction devices are encouraged to bring them. Limited snowshoes and traction devices will be available if conditions warrant. 

For both the climb and trail hike, park at the Darling Run Access parking lot off Route 362. To get there from Wellsboro, take U.S. Route 6, turn left onto Route 362, drive 1.5 miles and turn right into the Darling Run Access area and park. Mt. Tom is directly across Route 362 from the turn into the parking area. 

For more information, call Tom Oliver at (570) 724-2868 or Tim Morey at (570) 724-8561.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, an Open House in the George B. Strait Planetarium under the gold dome in the Grant Science Center on the Mansfield University (MU) campus will begin at 7 p.m. and end by 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to all ages, children and adults. Attendees are asked to arrive by 6:45 p.m. 

At 7 p.m., Dr. Elaine Farkas, MU physics professor, will take the audience on a 45-minute exploration of the winter night sky, including Orion’s belt and distant galaxies. Following the show, Tim Morey, Hills Creek State Park Complex natural resource specialist, will provide information about astronomy resources in this area. 

The Grant Science Center is located immediately behind North Hall in the middle of the Mansfield University campus in an area of one-way streets. Just look for the planetarium’s gold dome. Parking is available in nearby employee lots, requiring a short walk to Grant Science Center. Parking in faculty and staff lots on campus is allowed after 4 p.m. 

An interactive map of the campus and available parking can be found at www.mansfield.edu/maps-tours/. Preregistration is not required. The planetarium seats 100, so seating is on a first come, first served basis. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the 7 p.m. start of the show. 

For more information, contact Dr. Farkas at (570) 662-4754 or email to efarkas@mansfield.edu.

To learn more about all Winter Outings events, most of which are free, or for updates on trail conditions, directions and more, visit www.stepoutdoors.org or call (570) 724-0300 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. Snow and ice updates are also posted on Facebook at Step Outdoors Tioga County PA.

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