Experiencing Socially Distant Skiing at Seven Springs

We were hosted by Seven Springs when visiting for this story; however, all opinions are our own.

Much like everything else in 2020 (and onward into early 2021), the current environment has resulted in a number of changes for experiences throughout the region. The ski season at Seven Springs in the Laurel Highlands is no different.

While skiing is inherently an activity that can be enjoyed at a distance, the ski resorts in the Laurel Highlands have made many changes for the 2020-2021 season to ensure guests are safe when off the slopes. Naturally, we wanted to see what it was like towards the start of the season and share some things you can expect if visiting Seven Springs this year!

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A One-Mile Drive through the Clinton Christmas Light-Up

The Clinton Christmas Light-Up drive-thru experience has been entertaining visitors and raising money for charity since 1993. This one-mile light display about 30 minutes west of Pittsburgh features an array of lights, holiday decorations, bible verses, Christmas trees, and so much more on its route.

But the best part is perhaps its price. During our visit in 2020, they only charged $10 per car. A great price supporting good causes? Sign us up.

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Enjoying Christmas at the Pittsburgh Zoo Lights Display

To celebrate the holiday season, there are a number of drive-through light display experiences in the Pittsburgh region.

The zoo is one such place and offered an animal-centric light show during our visit in 2020. While this one is likely best enjoyed by young children who love zoo animals, visitors of all ages are likely to find a favorite animal represented in lights.

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8 Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh You Must Check Out

With so many rivers, streams, and creeks in and around Pittsburgh, you'd imagine there have to be a few waterfalls- and you'd be right.

The region is home to a significant number of waterfalls worth exploring, but we do have to note a caveat that many are lacking in size compared to falls you'll find in nearby states (the tallest near Pittsburgh is just about 30 feet whereas waterfalls in upstate New York a few hours away can break 200 feet!).

In fact, most of what we'd consider waterfalls here may only be five or six feet in height in total which are notable highlights when exploring a local park, but perhaps not the sole reason you'd visit a specific park on its own. To make matters worse, many of these are also heavily dependent on the rains such that they may just be a trickle during dry spells.

While the latter still affects even our biggest waterfalls, in this guide we wanted to only feature some of the biggest and most inspiring waterfalls near Pittsburgh. But to hit these, you'll have to go on a bit of a drive!

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Hiking Nine Mile Run from Frick Park to Duck Hollow

When thinking of hiking in the East End, odds are good your thoughts will quickly turn to Frick Park– the largest publicly accessible park in Pittsburgh. But there are a few other green spaces off of these main trails that you may not know about, and one of which is Nine Mile Run!

Although Nine Mile Run was technically annexed by Frick Park just a few years ago, this one is often viewed as its own space thanks to its unique position jutting out from the park south towards the Monongahela River (where it later connects up to the slightly longer Duck Hollow Trail that follows the river). Couple an even more recent effort to clean the waters at the run and you have a natural area that is a bit under-the-radar despite being a part of a more-well known city park.

So rather than include this one in our Frick Park article, we thought it'd be best to feature this one on its own!

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Boyce Mayview Park – Numerous Trails Here (So Have a Map Handy)

It took us three tries to properly hike Boyce Mayview Park. 

The first time we went, the access point we selected was overgrown and we had many ticks jump on us (and our dog) in just a few feet. We decided to explore the more accessible northern end of the park during this visit. 

The second time, the road going to the parking area I had intended to visit was closed and the detour to get there was sufficiently long that I gave up (this was on me).

But the third try, I made it, and after exploring this one properly I do have to admit there is a fair amount to see- just be sure to have a map on your phone handy.

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A Brief Visit to Mount Davis – Pennsylvania’s Highest Point

At 3,213 feet, Mount Davis is recognized as the highest point in Pennsylvania. And at just under two hours driving from Pittsburgh, it is an easy day trip to check off this spot from your Pennsylvania bucket list.

But while Mount Davis' claim to fame is its elevation, I have to admit, visting this one may not be exactly what you are envisioning.

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Laurel Summit State Park – Spruce Flats Bog and the Views

Laurel Summit State Park is an interesting one as it is technically only just six acres in size and can be found within Forbes State Forest surrounding it on all sides.

So while all the highlights you may expect to see when visiting this one are technically in Forbes State Forest, they're often described as being part of Laurel Summit State Park thanks to the trailheads mostly being within Laurel Summit. (The state park maps show this as such as well.)

While this is a somewhat odd naming convention, we're sticking with calling the sights as part of Laurel Summit State Park all the same, and there are several interesting things to see here!

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Laurel Hill State Park – One of Our Favorites in the Highlands

When it comes to hiking in the Laurel Highlands, there are a number of parks to choose from. In fact, this region is home to ten state parks and state forests that cover roughly 120,000 acres- and that is not even counting the smaller parks, runs, and green spaces as well.

As such, when we say that Laurel Hill State Park may be our favorite of them all, we say that with some gravity behind it.

This park is simply stunning!

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