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North Huntingdon farm looks to branch out with snow tubing lanes

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A popular dairy farm in North Huntingdon Township might begin offering snow tubing this winter.

Officials of Kerber's Dairy on Guffey Road, which already has opened a miniature golf course on its 64-acre property, are hoping to open two lanes for snow tubing on a 400-foot hill. The move is in line with a growing trend of ‘agritainment' activities around Pennsylvania.

“We're anxious to get it started and get it rolling,” said Thomas Kerber Sr. “There's nothing around here like it.”

The North Huntingdon Township zoning hearing board approved Kerber's request for two lanes for snow tubing last week. Township commissioners might vote on the plan next week.

The parallel lanes will be made of a polymer material that won't rely on cold temperatures or artificial snow to operate. A people-mover escalator — similar to those at airports — would be in between the lanes to transport people back to the top of the hill.

The lanes would be limited to 50 people. If deemed successful, Kerber said he would expand to include two additional lanes.

In 2011, an 18-hole miniature golf course was constructed on property near the Kerber Dairy store. The course was opened as a form of farmland preservation and a way to create a family entertainment spot instead of selling portions of the land for housing developments, Kerber said.

“Most of the ideas came from my son,” Kerber said. “In talking to many, many people in this area, (they said) there is a lack of family activities nearby.”

In keeping with the agricultural landscape, Kerber elected not to have music or a public-address system on the course.

“Different farms are doing different things,” said Mark O'Neill, spokesman for the Camp Hill-based Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

“It can vary widely,” he said. “It's grown rather significantly over the last 10 years.”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.

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