The plus side of winter: Families take advantage of prime sledding conditions Saturday

·5 min read
Lucy Steele, 10, from Louisville, gets a ride with brother Henry, 6, while sledding Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.
Lucy Steele, 10, from Louisville, gets a ride with brother Henry, 6, while sledding Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.

The winter storm that dumped flurries Thursday and Friday stymied motorists, resulted in school closures and in some cases trapped vehicles in parking lots.

But all that snow coupled with sunny weather and minimal winds Saturday created optimal sledding conditions.

Josie Steele, 8, from Louisville, sleds Saturday at Schneider Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.
Josie Steele, 8, from Louisville, sleds Saturday at Schneider Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.

Scott Steele of Louisville, his wife and their five children were determined to find the best places for a sled ride this weekend. Their backyard and Metzgar Park in Louisville, where they usually glide down, doesn't have the steep hills necessary for a fast ride.

So they went to Plain Township's Veterans Park off Schneider Street NW around 11:30 a.m. once temperatures had warmed enough to about 20 degrees F from single-digits. The family was delighted to find the steep hill they desired.

"This is definitely bigger and faster," Steele said. "You just have to be careful, you don't go into the parking lot."

The snow was fluffy, which slowed their sleds. But after packing the snow with a few runs, "we were going down pretty fast at the end."

All the kids sledded including Steele's 18-month-old son.

"He rode down on my lap," said Steele. "He liked it. He's unsure about the whole thing, but he did pretty good."

Golf course sledding

Over at Arrowhead Golf Club's Hole No. 7 in North Canton, two men, their sons and their friends had the steep snow-packed hill nearly all to themselves for sledding and snowboarding from around 11 a.m. to noon. They parked on Salway Avenue NW, which was closer to the hill than the clubhouse parking lot.

"We made a special drive over here to sled ride on this hill," said Adam Olenick, of Jackson Township, who used to live in the neighborhood. "Brings back memories and also we think it's one of the better hills to sled ride on. .... This year we've been getting blessed with lots of snow."

Scott Steele with daughter Lucy, 10, sled the hill Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.
Scott Steele with daughter Lucy, 10, sled the hill Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township.

He said he and his family have gone sledding about a dozen times already, higher than normal thanks to all the snow this winter.

Olenick said the Arrowhead hill was a longer, steeper hill than the one they had tried at Boettler Park in Green. And the Arrowhead hill had a spot where sleds would briefly go into the air before landing.

Olenick watched his 13-year-old son Noah Olenick and his friend Lawrence Potts, 13, slide down the hill on orange sleds. But it was a long walk to get their sleds back up the hill.

"It's pretty warm, but it's a good temperature," said Noah, adding he had fallen out of the sled a few times during his eight or nine sledding runs. "You go fast and it's pretty fun.

Brad Lightner, of North Canton, was at Arrowhead with his 13-year-old twin sons, Kaden and Isaac, and their friend Aidan Sampson,12, for some sledding and snowboarding.

Lightner said it was the third time this season they had gone sledding at Arrowhead.

Henry Steele, 6, from Louisville, treks up the hill Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township while sledding with his family.
Henry Steele, 6, from Louisville, treks up the hill Saturday at Veterans Community Park in Plain Township while sledding with his family.

He said the key was to find packed snow with just a little bit of fluffiness but not too much to overly slow the sled.

"This is really good snow," he said. "You've got to pack down some pass which is what these guys are doing."

Isaac Lightner said he was using the snow boarding moves he learned from his dad. The boy said snow boarding conditions were great. "It's not as icy and not as hard. So when you fall, you won't hurt yourself as bad."

Here's a list of the best sledding hills in the Stark County area, according to Northeast Ohio Family Fun, Visit Canton and area residents on Facebook have some suggestions.

More: 10 places to sled or tube for free after snowstorm hits Greater Akron

More: Craving a fried bologna sandwich? These eateries have it on the menu in Akron-Canton area

Northeast Ohio Family Fun/Visit Canton list:

  • Canal Fulton Christian Fellowship sledding hill at 2021 Locust St. S in Canal Fulton.

  • Malone University hill at 2600 Cleveland Ave. NW in Canton.

  • Petros Lake Park sledding hill at 3519 Perry Drive SW in Perry Township.

  • Quail Hollow Park hill at 13480 Congress Lake Ave. near Hartville.

  • Veterans Community Park at 1714 Schneider St. NW in Plain Township.

  • Silver Park at 2930 S. Union Ave. in Alliance.

  • Tam O'Shanter 5055 Hills & Dales Drive NW in Jackson Township.

  • Wampler Park at 1818 Main Ave. W in Massillon.

  • Westbrook Veterans' Memorial Park on 13th Street NW near I-77 in Canton.

Others:

  • Boettler Park Sled Riding Hill at 5300 Massillon Road in Green.

  • Wingfoot Lake State Park at 993 Goodyear Park Blvd. near Mogadore.

It should be noted that some of these hills might be private and you might need permission to ride them.

What to wear?

If you decide to ride sleds, make sure to dress for the conditions.

According to Airhead, a Colorado-based company specializing in water and snow equipment, sled riders will get the most of out of their experience if they dress appropriately for the hills.

In 2018 blog, they recommended:

  • A base layer against the skin with polypropylene or wool thermal underwear and wool socks. No cotton materials; they don't absorb skin moisture.

  • A warming layer involves sweaters or fleece materials. They keep your core warm.

  • A waterproof layer could be snow pants or waterproof jacket that keeps your body dry.

  • A warm hat.

  • A pair of waterproof gloves or mittens.

  • Boots, waterproof and insulated.

  • Always have a spare clothes in case you become wet and need to change.

The company said the three layers of clothes allows sled riders flexibility in their attire if it becomes warmer.

Reach Robert at (330) 580-8327 or robert.wang@cantonrep.com. Twitter: @rwangREP.

(Did we miss any sled hills? If so, email Benjamin Duer at ben.duer@cantonrep.com and we'll add the location to these lists.)

Reach Benjamin at 330-580-8567 or ben.duer@cantonrep.com

Follow on Twitter @bduerREP

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Families flock to best hills in Stark County for sled rides

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting