By Anna Berend
Before I had kids who are Minnesota born, this Texas girl had never known the thrill of whipping down a steep, slippery, snowy hill on a flimsy piece of molded plastic. It’s cold; it’s exhilarating; it’s addicting; and it’s a pain to trudge back up the tall hill as frigid air nips at your face all the while pulling the sled behind, but the ride down is so enchanting that you will do it over and over and over again.
The conditions and skill levels of the hills vary, just as ski slopes do, from easy greens to death trap black diamonds. However, you won’t find the degree of difficulty posted anywhere in these verdant city and district parks turned white and smooth with thick blankets of snow, masking the true nature of the landscape below.
These hills are unlit and unmanaged, unless otherwise noted so glide, spin and bumpity-bump down these icy runs at your own risk, but based on word-of-mouth, these are the best hills around. There are hundreds of terrific sledding hills in the Twin Cities. Think of this as a starting place and please leave a comment, adding your favorite sledding hill to the list.
14800 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Hours: Mon–Fri: 4 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sat: 1p.m.–8 p.m.; Sun: 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
Call for Holiday Hours
This 700-foot hill opens in December at the start of school winter break and remains open until mid-February. There is a supervised warming house available for warming up in between icy cold trips down the hill.
13501 Upton Ave
Burnsville, MN 55337
Hours: Mon-Sun: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Between the sports fields, you’ll find a great sledding hill in this Burnsville Park. Drawing from the many lovely, hilly neighborhoods in the area, this hill is not as large as some, but is highly suggested by those who know it.
1625 Humboldt Ave
West St. Paul, MN 55118
This large park offers a grand hill for sledding. This hill comes highly recommended. There is a parking lot conveniently located nearby, as well. Call for hours.
Como Park Golf Course
Corner of N. Chelsea and W. Arlington Ave.
St. Paul, MN
This golf course turned sledding dream is located in Como Park. There are long hills, drops and bowl –shaped slides, which means fun for all ages. Call for hours and reservations.
South Valley Park
2810 70th St. (70th St. & Cahill)
Inver Grove Heights, MN
As the name of the park implies, there’s a valley, which means there must be hills too. Once the snow arrives, this park is home to a large sledding hill, popular with those nearby. Call for hours.
Adams Hill Park
7200 Washburn Ave South
Richfield, MN 55423
Hours: Mon-Sun: 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
This large bowl shaped park has hills of varying angles for every age. Once a marshy storm water holding area, this park is now a perfect spot for sledding. Conveniently located on the borders of Richfield and Edina it’s often missed by those passing by. It’s located directly behind the Southdale YMCA.
10145 Bush Lake Rd.
Bloomington, MN 55438
Hours: Mon–Sun: 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
Hyland is a huge park in the Three Rivers Park District system with lots of hills of different sizes. It’s a bit more of a hike from the parking area to the hills, but well worth it. The steepest and best hill is near Chutes and Ladders play area.
Lyndale Farmstead Park
3900 Bryant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Hours: Mon–Sun: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
This park located on the side of a hill has an excellent sledding hill, called King’s Hill in reference to the original owner William S. King. King’s Hill is located directly behind the Theodore Wirth House and is a popular sledding location in this South Minneapolis neighborhood.
Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law. You can find Anna at http://www.motherlylaw.com, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.