Lion’s Park in Foley, Minnesota. That was ground zero for all things sledding in my hometown. I can still see my friends and me, bundled up from stocking hat to boots, loading up our sleds in the truck before my dad would drive us to the hill for an afternoon or night of fun. He’d barely have it in park when we got there, and we’d already be barreling out of the car to be the first one to reach the bottom of the slope. I still remember those days fondly, and with a fresh blanket of white from last night’s snowfall, there’s no better time to get out and relive that childhood fun before we bid adieu to the chilly months and welcome spring. Here are some of the top hills in the Twin Cities:
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove has everything the outdoor activity enthusiast could ever want. At 10 stories high (don’t worry, there’s a moveable sidewalk that ushers riders to the top), their tubing hill offers visitors steeper chutes for those looking for more thrills as well as more relaxed chutes for those who like to take things a little slower. Nearby, visitors can also shred some powder on the beginner-level downhill ski and snowboard hill or get some cardio in on almost 18 kilometers of cross-country ski trails. No need to bring your own tube: The park has your back on this one.
Theodore Wirth Regional Park
It only makes sense that the largest park in the Minneapolis park system offers plenty of winter activities. Located on the 10th fairway of the golf course, sledding devotees are free to race down the hill for as long as their hearts desire. Visitors will need to provide their own sleds, however. If you tire of sledding and want to switch it up, Theodore Wirth Regional Park also offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, skijoring, and more.
Perhaps the most famous hill in the Twin Cities, Buck Hill is known for being the launch pad for skiing superstar and Olympian Lindsey Vonn. But aside from some of the most stellar skiing the state has to offer, this Burnsville recreation area is great for tubing. With a multitude of lengthy lanes and a moveable sidewalk to whisk you to the top, tubing has never been easier or more fun. And the only items you need to bring are your warm clothes, as tubes are provided.
French Regional Park
For those looking for excitement, look no further than this steep hill in Plymouth. Lit and groomed so sledders can zoom down the slope even after the sun goes down, French Regional Park brings the thrills (and most likely some spills). This park is BYOS—bring your own sled.
A fan favorite with a rating of “steep” from the City of St. Paul, Highland Park draws crowds of people whenever there’s snow on the ground. Bring your friends, family, saucers and sleds, build some sick jumps, and get ready for some white wash fun. Cross-country ski trails are also available.