Hiking: R. B. Winter State Park


I love R.B. Winter State Park. When I was a kid, my whole family would car camp there for at least one whole week every summer.

Half Way Dam

If you are going to go there, it is important to note that nobody actually calls it R. B. Winter state park. Everyone calls it “Half Way Dam.” If you ask someone for directions to R. B. Winter, they probably won’t know what you’re talking about.

West Boundary Trail

Anyhow, last weekend, I went out with my friends to hike around it in the cold and snow. There was about 8″ of snow and ice on the ground, and it was just a hair above zero degrees outside. Perfect hiking weather.

We started out on the Mid-state trail, turned onto the west boundary trail, then walked on a road / snowmachine trail and then used the Old Boundary Trail to loop back to the Mid-State.

Klinutus dancing a jig

One of the nice things about winter hiking is being in the quiet of the woods, and breathing in cold, fresh air.

Nothing is more antithetical to these ends than the noise and stench of two-stroke snowmachine engines. The snowmachiners were generally friendly, though, and waved to us before blasting past us at incredible speeds.

Break Time

I got to test out some new gear on this hike. There was ice under the first inch of snow, so I used stabilicers over my trail running shoes for extra traction. I had used yaktrax on winter hikes last year, but had a catastrophic failure on a steep descent. The stabilicers seem much more sturdy, but the penalty is increased weight.

Ridge top

Anyhow, it was a lovely day in the woods. If you’re ever in the area, you should go to R.B. Winter State Park. In the summertime, there is a nice beach by the lake, and no matter how hot it is outside, the water is always too cold for grown ups to swim in. Kids can swim in it with no problems, though.

It’s also right along BikePA route V, so it’s a convenient camping place if you’re bike touring.

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