Snow and cold temps mean it’s time for winter sports! You and the kids can get your fill of skiing and snowboarding, of course – but don’t overlook the smaller-scale thrill of sledding, tubing and tobogganing, too. There are plenty of sledding hills in Michigan, including a heap of sledding hills in metro Detroit, to do just that.
We searched the state for three standout places to take that family sled (or use one that’s provided on site) – locally in Washtenaw County and beyond.
Try one this winter season, bundle up the kids and let us know what you thought in the comments. Just be sure to check ahead to ensure weather conditions are optimal.
Close to home: Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti
In the summer, Ypsilanti’s Rolling Hills Water Park draws families around the region to enjoy sun and waves. But there’s good reason to come back once the snowflakes start falling (just not in your swimsuit!) – the 363-acre park has one of the best sledding hills in Michigan.
“Rolling Hills is just that, with a 275-foot sledding hill that can be slayed with one of our five-seat toboggans,” says park supervisor Jeffrey Miller. “The whole family can ride down the hill at the same time.”
Plus, the top of the hill spreads out 70 feet so you’ve got plenty of starting spots – even if there are lots of other sledders. That makes it a prime spot for beginners.
The path back up the hill is fenced, too, so there’s no risk of having anyone slide into you.
“If you need to warm up, our lodge is open to the public and fully equipped with a gas fireplace and restrooms,” adds Miller, who says you shouldn’t stop at sledding.
“We offer three different cross-country ski trails for every skill level and have all the equipment available on site at our rental room.”
A day trip: Deadman’s Hill Park in Holt
Just south of Lansing in the city of Holt (situated in Delphi Township), there’s a place for outdoor enthusiasts with a drastic topography that makes for unforgettable sledding fun.
The John Taylor Memorial Park – formerly called Deadman’s Hill Park until mid-2018 – is a 13-acre destination. And, in winter, it’s the place to sled (and ice skate). Locals like the sledding hill because of its gradual gradation – and that it’s lit up at night.
Recent upgrades include stairs going uphill along with a rope to make it easier to navigate, even if you’ve got big gloves on.
Take a break at a small pavilion at the base of the hill, and make a day of it by exploring the quaint downtown nearby.
Even farther away: Timberlee Hills in Traverse City
What if your kids didn’t have to drag their tubes up the hill after every run? At Traverse City’s Timberlee Hills, one of the state’s largest hills, sledders take a towing system, on their tubes, back to the top.
Rentals are $14 for one hour or $24 for two, and it’s open select hours Friday-Sunday. Grab a pizza or a big bowl of chili at the restaurant when it’s time for a breather. The fun’s open to kids ages 4-plus.
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.