Speed and Soft Landings
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 around.
“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. 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.”
Off the Beaten Path
Just south of Lansing in the city of Holt, there’s a place for outdoor enthusiasts with an unforgettable name – Deadman’s Hill Park. In winter, the 13-acre park is 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.
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. Grab a pizza or a big bowl of chili at the restaurant when it’s time for a breather.