Sledding in Marple: A Family Adventure
With her kids as her research assistants, Bretany reviews some of the best sledding spots in town.
After last weekend's snowfall, I announced to the kids that we were going sledding. Usually when I say this, they bundle up and head out the back door to our very own private sledding hill–one of the many perks of living in Lawrence Park with its abundant hills.
But my kids are getting older and it's time to find something a bit more substantial and exciting, so we set out on a mission to find a great sledding hill. Thanks to some of my local mom friends, we had a few ideas of where to start.
Like most kid activities, getting everyone ready is the longest and most arduous part of the process. It took about an hour to get everyone ready and our car packed for the adventure. Once everyone was fully dressed, sunscreened, chapsticked and barely able to move, we headed out the door.
Here is a list of the hills we tackled:
Veteran's Park–Found by the park's walking track, “The Mountain” is a steep hill that really could be a mini mountain, but has very little area to actually sled down. The backside has a good run out, but trees and playground equipment are situated on the other sides. Smaller kids play it safe sticking to the bottom half of the mountain, track-side.
New Ardmore Park–On our way to this park, we passed by Russell Elementary school where we witnessed a few kids sledding on some smaller hills. There was no excitement factor for my boys, so we kept on moving. Just down the street you can find a bigger hill at New Ardmore Park, which gave us a good fast run. The park is riddled with trees, so, when sledding, be careful to only use the small piece of land between the playground and the trees.
Marple Gardens–Also known as Ann Road Park, this was by far our favorite sledding spot. This had come highly recommended by several local moms. We parked on James and Licia drives and by doing so were already at the top of one of the hills. There were several types of slopes to choose from. A soft gradual hill, a steeper hill by the baseball field, and my boys' favorite: a double dipper. This park provided sledding for all ages and got two thumbs up from all of us.
MN High School–We probably should have just stayed at Ann Road Park, but I wanted to check out the hill behind MNHS football field, which was also recommended. The hills back there gave us a few good runs until my eldest suffered his first sledding injury. He is fine, but it did solidify the idea that helmets would be an excellent sledding accessory.
After the tears stopped, we headed home where we enjoyed a late afternoon hot chocolate by the fire and the only way to end a sledding adventure. Reflecting on our day's adventure, we realized that we barely got out of our own neighborhood and were impressed with all the sledding options in the immediate area.
Please feel free to share your favorite sledding hills and snow pictures with Patch. If my boys are up for it, we may just hit the slopes again after school.