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Sledding is a fun and easy winter sport that’s festive and fun for non-skiers and the whole family. But what’s also great about sledding compared to other winter sports is that it’s inexpensive and can be done anywhere where there’s a hill and some snow!
You don’t have to live near the mountains or a ski resort to enjoy a good ride on a sled, and many of the top sledding hills are in the middle of America. A good sledding hill has a little steepness, but not too much, and thick powdery snow slows down your speed a bit. Many sledding spots are also great for snow tubing, so you have some options once you find a great hill. So bundle up and head to the hillside because these are some of the best winter sledding spots in the U.S.
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Lake Tahoe is an ideal place for winter sports, and sledding is no exception. Head to Adventure Mountain Lake to go sledding at elevations around 7,200 feet. There have been more than a dozen groomed sledding runs here and a concession stand to warm up and fuel your energy. At the top of Echo Summit, you’ll find 40 acres of pristine land that’s perfect for sledding and tubing. This is the highest sledding resort with the most snowfall in the entire Tahoe Basin. In the winter, there are up to 15 groomed sledding runs and lots of space to simply play in the snow as well. It’s open seven days a week, and you can rent everything you need at the Mountain Sport Day Lodge.
Minneapolis sees plenty of snow in the winter, and there are quite a few great sledding hills in the city. One of the most popular ones is at Theodore Wirth Park, which is a few miles west of the city. This is a premier sledding hill that has a tow rope, lights, and can even make its own snow if none is falling from the sky. A separate area is provided for tubing, and equipment can be rented at the park. You can bring your own sled if you have one or rent a tube from the park. A restaurant and hot chocolate stand are also on site to make for a perfect day out in the snow.
The Grand Junction area of Western Colorado is marked by towering mesas and stunning scenery. You’ll find a great sledding hill here near the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. Come here if you’ve gone sledding before and want to catch some speed on the way down. You might even catch a bit of air on the way, so be prepared for a more intense sledding experience at Old Powderhorn. This is the type of sledding spot where you’ll need to drag your sled to the top, but the views and thrills are totally worth it. Park your car on the south side of the road, and wear your warmest snow gear because this snow hill gets downright chilly.
Head to Edward Payson Park to go sledding at the Payson Hill Terrain Park in the central part of the city. This is a wonderful place to go sledding, as well as skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowboarding. You can also take lessons at the park for your snow sport of choice. In January, the park hosts a Welcome to Winter Event with sponsors L.L. Bean, Gear Hub, and Coffee by Design, which includes raffle prizes and the chance to win warm winter getaways. Two other nice places to go sledding in Portland are the Riverside Municipal Golf Course on Riverside Street and the Eastern Promenade that overlooks East End Beach.
There are lots of great hills and plenty of snow in Wisconsin in the winter, but the one that made our list is at Sunburst Winter Sports Park in Kewaskum. This is primarily a tubing mecca that claims to be the world’s largest tubing complex, in fact. Tubers are said to be able to reach speeds of up to 40 mph, so be ready for some serious adventure when you get here! While you’re here, you can also check out the snowboard terrain parks and ski trails.
There are so many amazing places to go sledding in Colorado that it’s hard to narrow the list down to just a few in the state. But one of the best is in Winter Park at Stone Mountain Ranch. There is no tow rope or moving platform here to bring you back to the top of the hill, so be prepared to walk. However, both sleds and tubs are available for use at the pavilion. In fact, you can’t even bring your own tube or sled to use here. Other winter activities to do here are sleigh rides, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling.
Boston also has some great sledding hills, including one at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Peters Hill is in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood and is about 350 feet long. This is one the highest and longest slopes in the city for sledding, so you’ll definitely want to check this one out this winter if you live in the area. Some sledding areas actually have a 60-degree slope, so this is a great place to come if you know what you’re doing on a sled and are looking for an adrenaline rush.
Snoqualmie Pass is a great place for both sledding at tubing at the Hyak Sno Park slopes and the Snoqualmie Summit Tubing Center. The tubing center has groomed lanes, while the Sno Park hills have some trees that you’ll need to watch out for. Tubing tickets can be purchased online and night sessions are also available.
One of the best places to sled in the winter in Ohio is at Mad River Mountain, which is very popular and gets busy on weekends. This place is especially known for tubing at the Avalanche Tubing Park that has nearly a dozen lands for tubing. There are no minimum age or height requirements at the park, but young children must be able to ride in their own tube and not on a parent’s lap.
Another excellent place to go sledding in Colorado is at Firecracker Hill in Telluride, on the southern side of town. This is a local sledding hill that’s a favorite among residents and tourists who flock here for ski season. This is a safe hill that’s far enough from the skiers and snowboarders with orange cones to let you know where the sledding spots are. Rent equipment at the Nordic center nearby if you don’t have a sled of your own. Also, check out the ice skating pond nearby. Ultimately, the views of the mountains and the village of Telluride are worth a visit all their own.
Chicago is a place that people associate with flat, hill-less land, but there’s a fun sledding hill on the South Side. Swallow Cliff Woods Sledding Hill has stairs that take you to the top of the hill, but there aren’t any rental companies nearby so you’ll need to BYOS (bring your own sled). The good news is that the stairs are cleared and salted so that you won’t slip and fall while climbing to the top.
People might be surprised that Nebraska has one of the best sledding hills in the country because it has a certain reputation of being flat, but Pioneers Park in Lincoln is an amazing place to be in the winter season. There are ramps at the top of the hill that help sleds build up some speed and keep riding for a little adrenaline rush. There are miles of trails here too if you want to go for a winter hike and keep an eye out for wildlife in the area.