Blue Mountain Ski Area, Pennsylvania

<b>Distance from Baltimore:</b> 170 miles, about a three-and-a-half hour drive<br>
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<b>Why it's cool:</b> At 1,082 feet, Blue Mountain in Palmerton, Pa., hosts the highest vertical slope in Pennsylvania. There are 39 snowboarding and skiing trails for all levels of ability, and three runs over a mile long. For the more experience, there is a terrain park and a BigAirBag, which is similar to the fall cushions used by stuntmen, but for skiers and snowboarders. The BigAirBag allows you to try out advanced ski and board tricks with a cushy airbag to catch your fall. If you want a smoother ride, try out the snowtubing runs. With 21 slides, the whole family can race down the hill - and don't worry about walking back up, there are three lifts to take you right back to the top.<br>
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<b>Don't miss:</b> The luge track. Get a chance to feel like an Olympic athlete at the only luge track in Pennsylvania. For just $10 you can glide down the 2,000-foot USA Luge track.<br>
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<b>Information:</b> Blue Mountain Ski Area, 1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton, Pa. 18071. Go to <a href="http://www.skibluemt.com">skibluemt.com</a>.

( Carol Stickles Photo, Courtesy of Blue Mountain Ski Area / December 12, 1996 )

Distance from Baltimore: 170 miles, about a three-and-a-half hour drive

Why it's cool: At 1,082 feet, Blue Mountain in Palmerton, Pa., hosts the highest vertical slope in Pennsylvania. There are 39 snowboarding and skiing trails for all levels of ability, and three runs over a mile long. For the more experience, there is a terrain park and a BigAirBag, which is similar to the fall cushions used by stuntmen, but for skiers and snowboarders. The BigAirBag allows you to try out advanced ski and board tricks with a cushy airbag to catch your fall. If you want a smoother ride, try out the snowtubing runs. With 21 slides, the whole family can race down the hill - and don't worry about walking back up, there are three lifts to take you right back to the top.

Don't miss: The luge track. Get a chance to feel like an Olympic athlete at the only luge track in Pennsylvania. For just $10 you can glide down the 2,000-foot USA Luge track.

Information: Blue Mountain Ski Area, 1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton, Pa. 18071. Go to skibluemt.com.

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