When I decided to write this post, I wasn’t sure whether to call this popular winter activity ‘sledding’ or ‘sliding.’ I usually call it ‘sliding,’ but a quick internet search confirmed that both terms were acceptable. So I did what any great writer would do; I made a Facebook poll to ask my friends what term they used.
The result? The term ‘sledding’ won by a land-slide. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
I have fond memories of winters as a child, sledding down our hilly driveway and making holes in snowbanks trying to create forts.
I never minded winter then. It is possible that I may have even liked it. But, as I grew up, any magic I saw in the season disappeared. This was most likely a product of needing to drive on slippery roads and the unavoidable snow blowing and shoveling.
Then, I had children.
Seeing winter through the eyes of my young children has revived the magic of the season for me, even after Christmas is over. I am beginning to look forward to participating in the same winter activities my children enjoy.
The pure joy on their faces warms my heart. I desperately try to hang on to the moments of fun I have while playing in the snow with them.
In the last couple of years, we’ve collected a few sleds and, every chance we get, we seek out a hill to use them on. I mean, look where we live! Our state is the home of so many endlessly entertaining Vermont sledding hills. Sledding is kind of a winter requirement around here.
I remember the first few times I took my children out sledding. Both of my children were in their glory as they took turns in the sled, cruising down the hill. At the bottom, their excitement was evident and they begged for turn after turn.
I can still see my son, pulling his sister up the hill, huffing and puffing with a brilliant smile. I also have mental images of my daughter running after her brother sledding down the hill, bundled up marshmallow style. At times, the snow causing her toddler ‘waddle’ to give out and make her collapse in giggles on the ground. These are some of my favorite memories ever.
I think it is safe to say my children love Vermont sledding hills.
In the midst of this pandemic, I can only imagine that the number of times I will take my children out sledding this winter will multiply. It is the ultimate inexpensive, outdoor, social distancing activity. But seeing that I did not grow up in Vermont, I have been motivated to ask where more amazing Vermont sledding hills are. Who better to ask than my fellow VT Mom writers?
My inquiries resulted in the compilation of the following list, which I am more than happy to share with you! I hope it is a great resource for you and your family!
Burlington Country Club, Burlington
I hadn’t thought about a golf course for sledding before. Maybe because I don’t play golf, but it makes so much sense!
Landry Park, Winooski
The hill at Landry Park is popular for sledding, but there’s also an ice skating rink when weather conditions allow. There is plenty of winter fun to be had here!
Albert D. Lawton School, Essex Junction
My children and I frequent this hill when we go sledding. I especially like it because you can slide on pretty much any side of the hill. One side is steeper than the other two, giving you some options and allowing those sledding to spread out a bit.
Cascade Park, Essex Junction
This is another one of those Vermont sledding hills that is local to me, so it is easy for my family to access it. The half of the park where the baseball field is has a stretch of hill ideal for sledding.
Mount Mansfield Union High School, Jericho
Mills Riverside Park, Jericho
You can venture to either of these locations for some great sledding before or after enjoying other sights and eateries in Jericho.
Casey’s Hill, Underhill
Just beyond Jericho, if you’re traveling east, this popular sledding place is on Pleasant Valley Road in Underhill. After doing some research, I have found that there are really two hills. I have also discovered that some people recommend you consider the age of your child before deciding to take your sleds here because the hills are very fast, and the larger of the two is also very steep. It appeals to many, especially those with school-aged kids.
Post Office Hill, Shelburne
Part of the LaPlatte Nature Park, families with kids of all ages flock to this hill with their sleds. It is directly behind the post office in Shelburne, making it very easy to locate.
Hard’ack Recreation Area, St., Albans
This recreation area is popular for sledding, snowboarding, and skiing. However, you probably want to check their Facebook page to be sure the hill is open for activities if the weather hasn’t been consistently snowy.
Old Round Church Sledding Hill, Richmond
Personally, I’ve never used this hill at the Old Round Church for sledding, and now it’s on my list of places to explore. Besides being picturesque, the short hill is steep enough to slide down and many people enjoy sledding here year after year. There are also plenty of places to eat afterward. Chances are, you’ll be on the prowl for something warm to ingest and a hot cocoa from Sweet Simone’s would do the trick!
While I’m telling you where you can find the best Vermont sledding hills, let me also share my favorite way to warm up after sledding. Hot spiced cider! Sometimes I like to put all the ingredients together so the flavors mix and I only have to heat them up when I get home. I could leave it to warm in the slow cooker too. It’s not much of a recipe, but for the three of us, I use about 4 cups of cider, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 2 cinnamon sticks (mostly because my son and daughter each want one in their cup as a makeshift straw.) I heat this mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I have garnished their mugs with slices of orange or apple, for fun.
Where are your favorite Vermont sledding hills?
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