February is the perfect month to get outside and shake off those cabin-fever blues, especially if you like to play in the snow. Whether you’re a beginning or expert skier or snowboarder, love to go tubing, or are curious about what it’s like to go airborne on an airboard, Montage Mountain Resorts in Lackawanna County, Pa., can help you banish those winter blahs.
According to the resort’s Jeff Slivinski, there is something for everyone on the mountain, from first-timers to advanced winter athletes.
“Our 140-acre ski resort offers 26 trails ranging from beginner, intermediate, and advanced to expert levels,” he explained. “We encourage beginners to come out, and we have programs solely based on the fact that it’s their first time on the mountain.
“We also have the steepest slope in Pennsylvania, and the second steepest slope on the East Coast for more advanced skiers and snowboarders,” he added.
One of the more unique activities offered at Montage Mountain is airboarding, which is only available at seven resorts across the nation, according to Slivinski. Unlike tubing, where you stay in a lane, airboarding allows riders to cruise dedicated ski slopes on an inflatable sled with rubber treads on the bottom.
“In airboarding, you can carve, turn, and stop like skiing or snowboarding,” said Slivinski, who noted that Montage Mountain has the largest airboarding program worldwide, with more than 150 airboards on site. “It’s a great opportunity for someone who has never skied before to ride the lifts and see what the mountain is like without having to experience the learning curve of skiing.”
The resort’s tubing area, featuring 15 of the longest and fastest lanes in Pennsylvania, is a blast for kids and adults alike. And to ensure that no one is left out, there is even a kiddy tubing area, featuring a smaller hill for little ones ages 3 and older.
Now in its 32nd year, the resort features 100 percent snowmaking across the mountain, and also offers night skiing, staying open until 9:00 or 10:00pm each night to allow guests to come up after work and ski under the lights.
“We get a big local following, as well as a lot of guests from the Allentown, Pa., area and New York and New Jersey,” said Slivinski. “Our terrain is — bar none — the best in the area. Even if you’re making the drive from Washington, D.C., it’s well worth the trip.”
Insider tip: There are numerous hotels in the Montage Mountain area, but if you want to take a break from the slopes, Dickson City, which is equidistant between Montage Mountain and Elk Mountain, is in the heart of the shopping area.
Before you go:
Lackawanna Co. Tourism: visitnepa.org
Montage Mountain: montagemountainresorts.com