The temperature outside has been dropping lately, which means it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be digging up our winter coats from the backs of our closets. But it also means that snow is just around the corner and it’s time to think about that sled that’s been collecting dust in the garage since last winter. Though some traditions fade through the years, there’s something about slipping and sliding down a snowy slope that remains timeless. Luckily, there are plenty of fun spots around Long Island and New York City that are ideal for sledding. After all, all you really need is a nice hill.
Bethpage State Park
Arguably more famous for its golf courses, Bethpage State Park also counts sledding among its popular activities. There’s plenty of open space and steep hills, not to mention a hill specifically reserved for snowboarding as well. Visitors can park for free in the golf course lot and are only permitted to use steerable sleds; inflatable sleds are not allowed. Make sure to call the park office at 516-249-0701 prior to arriving.
At 930 acres, Eisenhower Park, located in East Meadow on Merrick Avenue, is one of the largest parks in the metropolitan area and boasts several activities, not the least of which is sledding. Spend an afternoon on one of the many hills and, if that starts to gets old, check out the aquatics center, which includes a work-out facility, or dine at Carlton on the Park Restaurant. A leisure pass and fee are required for the aquatic center. Call 516-572-0347 for more information.
Cedar Creek Park
The sled hills at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh are open in January and February, after the chaotic holidays have wrapped up and with plenty of winter still ahead. The park’s picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis and reserved areas can be accessed with a leisure pass. There is also a dog run, popular with pet owners, near field number 7.
Though it isn’t exactly around the block, no sledding list would be complete without Central Park in New York City. Visitors can enjoy the steep slopes of Pilgrim Hill or the popular Cedar Hill, which is divided into sections for both experienced and inexperienced riders. An abundance of restaurants are available in and around the park, so those in need of refreshments or relief from the cold won’t have to look far.