Winter is right around the corner. There’s a chill in the air… you can almost see the snowflakes. Once they hit the ground, it’s time to bundle up in snow pants, hats and mittens and hit the hills with your favorite sled or inflated tube.
While it’s typically one of the most common winter activities connected to kids, the thrill of racing down a snow-covered hill can be fun for any age. Situated among hills and mountains, New Hampshire and Vermont are ripe with opportunities.
In the Monadnock region, check out Robin Hood Park, a recreational park in Keene. Or head over to School Street at the former Tilden School. Horse Hill in Marlborough is another popular spot, as is the hills at the Fuller Elementary School in Keene. There’s some great sledding at Wheelock Park, also in Keene, as well as down the Old Toll Road trailhead in Jaffrey.
Granite Gorge in Keene is another great spot for sledding and tubing. In addition to the traditional downhill sliding, there is Cosmic Tubing on Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. — neon lights and music guide sliders down the tracks.
Just over the river in Brattleboro, Living Memorial Park features some prime winter sledding fun on Memorial Park Drive.
If you feel like venturing a little further from these regions, there are some other places around New Hampshire and Vermont to explore. Among them…
Bretton Woods (Carroll, N.H.) — Located at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center, in the Mt. Washington region. It features crafted, sculpted runs that are perfect for tubing and sledding. It’s open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from late-November through mid-March (weather permitting). Tubes can be rented at the Stone Pillar Lodge, which is adjacent to the Nordic Center. Top off the adventure with some hot chocolate and light snacks at The Grille. For more details, visit brettonwoods.com.
Cranmore Mountain (North Conway, N.H.) — Served by a “magic carpet-style” surface lift, the Cranmore Tubing Park has up to 10 lanes. Hit the hills here during the day or at night (until 8 p.m.) on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. Learn more at cranmore.com.
Great Glen Trails (Gorham, N.H.) — These hills tout the traditional walk up/slide down style hill that families have been enjoying for years. For details, visit greatglentrails.com.
Loon Mountain (Lincoln, N.H.) — Loon Mountain features a snow tubing park with lift-serviced tubing available. Tube sessions are booked by the hour and advanced reservations are highly recommended. As many as 10 sessions are offered each day. Learn more at loonmtn.com.
McIntyre Ski Area (Manchester, N.H.) — McIntyre’s lift-serviced hills offer over 600 feet of fun along eight lanes. It’s got carpet lift services too. The park is open Thursdays through Sundays with additional hours during vacation weeks and holidays. For more information, visit mcintyreskiarea.com.
Mount Snow (West Dover, Vt.) — This large Alpine ski mountain features hills for tubing and sledding. A covered surface lift carries people back to the top for more sliding. There is also a tubing trail known as the Mixing Bowl, located in front of Mount Snow Sports at the Grand Summit Hotel in the main base area. Learn more at mountsnow.com.
Sharp Park (Milton, Vt.) — Sharp Park is a premier sliding hill with a lower slope that’s gradual (suitable for younger children), as well as a steep upper slope and 300 feet of vertical drop from the landing zone. Snow tubes work best from the 75-foot launch or lower on the slope. Helmets are mandatory for children and recommended for adults (available for free use at the park). Get more details at sharppark.com.
Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center (Grafton, Vt.) — Snow tubing is offered at this cross-country skiing and snowshoeing center. Snow making starts in mid-December on the 600-foot snow tubing run. Dogs are welcome on the property on Mondays and Thursdays. Visit graftoninnvermont.com/grafton-trails for more information.
Killington Tubing Park (Killington, Vt.) — This park, located near the Killington ski area, features lots of lanes for tubing during the day and into the evening under the lights. The lanes are serviced by a lift. Learn more at killington.com/things-to-do/activities-amenities/winter-activities/tubing-park.