Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sledding In Ohio

Photos by OHventures

Depending on where you are from, you either call it sledding or sledriding. You might even call it toboggoning. Either way, the thought of flying downhill on a sled will most definitely bring back childhood memories. But this activity is not for children only! It's intense, thrilling, and downright adrenaline-pumping. IF you find the right hills, that is! We used to go sledriding (that's what we called it) at my Aunt & Uncle's house in their backyard, where they had a pretty gnarly hill to zoom down. But there are plenty of other hills around the state that are sledriding hotspots, many of which located at state parks.

You can find a list of state parks with great hills thanks to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Of course, OHventures was looking to plan a couple of sledding trips this winter,and we picked the nearby Quail Hollow State Park as our destination of choice. My friend Kyla came along for the ride. Even in the bitter cold of the polar vortex in Ohio, we were bound and determined to conquer some hills! 

While the scenery at Quail Hollow was nothing short of spectacular, we couldn't seem to find the sledding hills. So, we asked one of the many cross country skiers in the vicinity if they knew of any hills. Our efforts were yet again fruitless so we entered the visitor's center at the Manor House to ask the park officials. They pointed to the hills that were right outside the window, which were really not much of a sight to see. Despite the measly looking hill, Kyla and I decided to have at it! The park officials insisted that many people use the hill, even if it didn't look too massive! 

Our sledding experience was nothing short of hilarious! I don't think there was a single moment that I was not  smiling from ear to ear! Even without the highest quality of sleds (do yourself a favor and don't wait until the middle of winter when all the sleds have been bought out - I had to buy cheaply made sleds from Target that were sufficient but not preferred), we managed to get some decent speed on the decent hill at Quail Hollow!

The worst part of sledding is of course the long trek back up the hill you zoomed down. It takes you four or five times longer to get back up the hill you sped down! After racing down the hill and trying different techniques, Kyla and I were ready for a challenge. We had a tip from a friend to try out a different hill in nearby Canton: Tam O’Shanter Golf Course Sledding Hill located at 5055 Hills and Dales Road NW.

This hill was a MONSTER! Unfortunately, photos do not do it justice, as it is hard to photograph a hill when it's covered in snow. But this thing was 10 times steeper than the last and made for some extreme thrills! We had an epic time flying down this mountain - even tumbling and barrel-rolling off of our sleds! It was worth it!
Sledding is definitely be an adult sport again - we will just leave the snowman-building to the kiddos. See below some links so you can find some great hills nearest you!

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