SNYDER: Penny-pinchers can still enjoy Mother Nature

  • There are a number of great outdoors desintations within a six-hour drive of York.
  • New York, Virginia and West Virginia all offer great outdoors activities.
  • Traveling by car saves money, is hassle-free and provides some great scenery.

As I prepare to spend a week abroad, I’m reminded of the old cliché.

"There's no place like home."

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is a short drive from York and a great destination for outdoors enthusiasts.

It’s true.

For outdoors enthusiasts, Pennsylvania can’t be beat. It offers something for everybody. We’ve got world-class hunting, camping and hiking opportunities galore, and you can’t turn around without spotting a great place to wet a line.

Even so, every once in a while, it's great to get away.

Even with an endless list of things to do in Pennsylvania, it can be fun to pack our bags and head somewhere new. The world is too big and beautiful not to explore it — hence a few days at Germany’s famed Oktoberfest this week.

When it comes to broadening our horizons in the world of the outdoors, too many folks think it takes a big budget and lots of time. It’s simply not true. You don’t have to travel thousands of miles or be a multi-millionaire to explore the diversity of Mother Nature.

Sure, you can spend a few thousand bucks flying to Alaska for a week-long hunting trip. Or you could pay a guide in Montana a pretty penny to cast dry flies into a gin-clear stream in hopes of landing a giant trout. That’s all fun stuff, but it's quite expensive.

Traveling on budget: Call me conservative, a penny-pincher or even (dare I say it) downright cheap, but I like to get the most out of money. After all, the stuff is not easy to come by. That’s why when I head out of town in the name of sport, I do it on a budget.

The easiest way to lower the cost of a trip is to drag a few friends along for the ride. If everybody pays their share, you'll all be rewarded. A few buddies tagging along can slash the cost of a trip, especially when it comes to fuel prices.

One of my most memorable trips was when a handful of my friends and I jammed ourselves into a truck and headed for West Virginia for a weekend of camping and white-water rafting. After two days of action, the entire trip cost each of us less than a hundred bucks.

While it’s possible to fly almost anywhere in the world fairly inexpensively, driving is always my first choice. It's hassle-free, relaxing and allows for an enjoyable view of the local scenery.

Destinations within six-hour drive: When hitting the open road, I look for destinations within a six-hour drive. Anything over that and there is too much time spent sitting behind the wheel. While it may seem limiting, six hours allows plenty of time to explore new territory.

For anglers, places such as Montauk, New York; Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley all make excellent weekend trips that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

For hunters, the options are equally abundant. New York offers great whitetail and wild boar hunting. West Virginia is more of the same, with some world-class turkey hunting thrown in. And don’t overlook Virginia and its phenomenal quail and pheasant hunting preserves. They offer shooting potential impossible to find anywhere else.

Even folks who don’t hunt or fish can enjoy a great road trip. Just throw some camping gear and a pair of hiking boots in the car and go wherever the roads take you. You're bound to uncover some great outdoors activities

SNYDER: White Fly, Yellow Breeches, red-hot fishing

You don’t have to be a jet setter or have an unlimited budget to embark on great trips. All it takes is a little imagination and the willingness to try something new.

Grab some friends, hop in the car and go enjoy somebody else’s backyard.

Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at