The Great Outdoors is Calling

The Great Outdoors is Calling

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but hey it’s January and you live in Ohio for Pete’s sake! So what’s a person to do? Lots as a matter of fact. Get off that coach; the movie channel can wait. Head outside and take advantage of what Youngstown has to offer in the dead of winter. Here’s hoping the roads are salted and you don’t forget your mittens!

What could be more fun than the Three Winter S’s – sledding, skating and skiing? While there are plenty of backyard hills and farm ponds to be had in Mahoning County, get together with friends or make some new ones at these great community gathering places.

With Flexible Flyer in tow, head to the James L. Wick Recreation Area in Mill Creek Park (Youngstown – 330-740-7107) for some awesome sledding experiences. Know that evening sledding is doable thanks to the outdoor lighting and there is a heated shelter available once the winter chill becomes a bit intense. The concession stand is also an added bonus. What’s a good day of sledding without a couple hot cocoas to keep you going?

Ice skating is another winter pastime staple. If you’d like to skate outdoors, make your way to the Courthouse Square Park Ice Rink in downtown Warren (330-841-2641). This man-made ice rink is open during the winter. For those who prefer to skate indoors, the Ice Zone in Boardman (330-965-1423) is the place to go. Two ice rinks are maintained here in the winter (one is open in the summer as well) with learn-to-skate and hockey programs available as well as public skating. Call ahead for public skate times.

Cross-country skiing continues to grow in popularity, especially since hills are not required. Any number of municipal parks permit cross country skiing including Boardman Township Park (Boardman – 330-726-8105) – on the bike and walking trails; Mosquito Lake State Park (Trumbull County – 330-637-2856) – the park office offers trail maps detailing the marked skiing areas.; Roosevelt Park (Campbell – 330-743-5370) permits self-guided skiing as does Mill Creek MetroParks (Youngstown 330-702-3000).

If you want to hit the slopes for some downhill thrills, you might want to join one of the two very active skiing clubs in the Youngstown area. The Youngstown Ski Club does require a membership though one-day ski trips for non-members are available. For information about this group and their skiing opportunities, visit their website at The Warren Ski Club also host skiing adventures as well as monthly meetings for both current members and those interested in joining. Find out more about this group’s activities at

Pick your passion and make use of what Youngstown’s winter weather has to offer. Who needs Jackson Hole, Wyoming or Aspen, Colorado – okay, those would be great places to visit – but for little money, a great deal of fun can be had right here in Y-Town. Now bundle up and get out there; but be sure to use the bathroom before you put on your snowsuit!