What to Know Before You Go… Sledding on the North Shore!
Posted by Ann, Ziptivity’s North Shore Community Ambassador
Gotta love New England weather… I’ve been wanting to blog about sledding for weeks, and now that I’m good and ready it’s all but gone! It’s been 21 days since our last good snowfall. Now the 3 feet of snow has been replaced by 3 feet of mud (equally fun to play in BTW). Fingers crossed for more to come, because we have some great sledding tips and tricks for your sledding pleasure.
There’s nothing like whizzing down a hill, catching air over bumps, and spilling out at the bottom. Are you blowing off your New Year’s resolution to exercise? Sledding (especially with little ones that need the occasional “tow”) is great exercise! Slide down (1 minute). Walk up (15 min). Slide down. Walk up… Daily workout, check.
Sledding can result in serious injuries, so to be safe, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Dress in layers—waterproof pants and mittens, insulated, wool or acrylic socks, waterproof boots, a warm jacket (down or synthetic), a hat, and a neck warmer—to prevent frostbite. Remember, cotton absorbs water (sweat and snow) and will make you cold.
- On the hill, there may be obstacles – rocks, trees, and exposed areas of grass. Take a walk up and down the hill before your first sledding run to be sure there are no dangers.
- Make sure your child knows how to stop the sled to prevent sliding into a nearby road.
- Doctors recommend wearing a helmet while sledding because of the risk of serious head injuries.
The best kind of sled is such a personal choice…. My boys love inner tubes. They’re fast and offer a cushion over bumps. I like them because they’re light enough for them to schlep back up the hills! But be aware, they can spin out of control on steep, icy hills. Classic wooden toboggans allow for multiple riders. They are heavy, slower and are more difficult to lug up a hill. Plastic little saucers are the least expensive and a great portable option for your kids. While grown-ups may not like the bumps, it doesn’t seem to bother the kids.
While most ‘publicly owned’ golf courses do not have restrictions on sledding, recently many private golf courses and private lands have posted signs reading, “No Trespassing” or “No Sledding”. Please know that not all of the following posts are for public parks, and there may be limitations about sledding at any of them. If that is something you are concerned about, you should contact the hill.
All of the hills we’ve listed are free with the exception of #1 on our list – the Mother of all North Shore hills… Amesbury Sports Park. Cape Ann resident, and freelance author Dana Rousmaniere lends us some tips from her Northshore Magazine “Let It Snow” feature.
“What to Know Before You Go: Admission is $22 for a three-hour pass, or $30 for a five-hour pass (same price for adults and children). Reservations are not required, but the park sometimes sells out, so be sure to get there early. Kids must be at least four years old to ride; four- to six-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Kids must wear helmets, which are provided with the cost of admission. Dress warmly, with boots, hats, and gloves. Outside sleds and tubes are not permitted; the park provides high-quality tubes with the cost of admission. As long as it’s cold enough, Amesbury Sports Park is open for tubing Thursday through Friday 3:30p.m.–9p.m.; Saturdays 10a.m.–9p.m.; and Sundays 10a.m.–7p.m. See the website for holiday hours and special extended school vacation week hours.”
Read more at nshoremag.com/snow. Watch for Dana’s upcoming book, North Shore Baby, available on Amazon and in local bookstores this spring from Union Park Press.
Pick a hill!
Amesbury: Amesbury Sports Park: Snow Tubing!
Amesbury: Woodsom Farm: Let’s Go Sledding!
Andover: Ward Reservation: Let’s Go Sledding!
Beverly: Lynch Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Danvers: Endicott Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Gloucester: Bass Rocks Golf Club: Let’s Go Sledding!
Gloucester: Stage Fort Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Groveland: Veasey Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Manchester: Essex County Club: Let’s Go Sledding!
Marblehead: Gatchell Playground: Let’s Go Sledding!
Marblehead: Seaside Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Newburyport: Bartlet Mall: Let’s Go Sledding!
Newburyport: March’s Hill: Let’s Go Sledding!
Newburyport: Maudslay State Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Peabody: Brooksby Farm: Let’s Go Sledding!
Rockport: Evans Field: Let’s Go Sledding!
South Hamilton: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary: Let’s Go Sledding!
Swampscott: Jackson Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Swampscott: Phillips Park: Let’s Go Sledding!
Topsfield: Wheatland Hill: Let’s Go Sledding!