Winterfest is back! Izaak Walton League hosts event for outdoor enthusiasts

If you’ve ever wondered what’s behind the big yellow gate at 5641 Myers Lake Ave., you’ll soon have a chance to find out. Winterfest is back, and on Saturday, Jan. 28, that gate will be open for you, 10:00 to 3:00. The Izaak Walton League is a non-profit group of outdoor enthusiasts who want to share their interests, land, pond, and creek with you.

Certain hunches are predicting snow for the big day. But to cover a range of weather, a variety of activities are planned. Archery is popular in both snow or sun, with guides to help anyone who wants to give it a try.

There’s a pile of pine branches for building shelters and “camps”, and if there’s snow, castles and sculptures may be created. If the ice is good, kids can go ice-fishing or skating. Cross-country skis are available too. Sledding is a possibility.

This year outdoor candle-making is planned once again. A few years ago it was enjoyed by kids who took turns dipping candles in a kettle over a small fire. This is a calm old-time activity that can happen outside or in, so the weather won’t matter.

You may visit the Boy Scouts who are practicing their overnight winter-camping skills in the woods. Members of this Izaak Walton League chapter receive free camping privileges, something to consider for this summer. There are nature trails to explore along Armstrong Creek, and another trail leads up to Hammock Hill.

Inside, you may warm up with cocoa and a free hot dog or chili for lunch. Or, mingle with those at the fly-tying demo or the birdfeed-making station.

This is all free, although donations are always welcomed to help the cause. The IWLA is dedicated ton defend the air, soil, woods, water, and wildlife, both nationally and locally. While many of the larger issues can be daunting, this group recognizes the satisfaction that can be found while connecting with the wonderful outdoors. Round up the kids and visit the “Ikes”, a half-mile north of Cannonsburg Ski Area. Parking is limited so carpool if you can. For more info or to volunteer, contact or check out

Archery in the snow is a popular activity
Outdoor candle-making at Winterfest