Sliding Into Winter Atop A Trusted Sled
When the sun is shining brightly outside and the snow has finally reached that perfect balance between soft and sleek, what could be better on a winter afternoon than taking a sled to the top of the nearest hill and coasting downward?
For me, it’s a quintessential blend of embracing the great outdoors and celebrating an ageless winter tradition. I recently found myself a sledding companion: my dog, JT. With hands, paws and tail tucked safely into my snow tube, we found ourselves speeding down the hill behind our home in Sharon, Conn. For him, the sensation was no different than sticking his head out of the car window. I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard as I did sledding with him.
From my vantage point as a resident of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, there is an abundance of slopes on which to sled within a decent driving distance. If a hill can’t be found within 10 minutes of your own backyard, there’s certainly a selection of sledding sites that would be great for a day trip with the family.
Regardless of where they decide to go sledding this winter, sledders are reminded to keep their safety in mind while they’re having fun on the region’s hills, mounts and slopes.
When school is out for the day, local students and their families are often seen flying down the slope behind Sharon Center School (80 Hilltop Road).
I’ve been told there’s also a hill at Veterans Field (29 Sharon Station Road) that might be suited to older children. Located to the side of the soccer field and tennis court, the hill is short and steep and comes to an abrupt end as it flattens onto the soccer field.
In Cornwall, Conn., there is Mohawk Mountain Ski Area (46 Great Hollow Road) for winter kicks on the mountain. That can encompass a thrilling ride on skis or a swift slide on a snow tube. Snow tubing passes can be purchased online at www.mohawkmtn.com/tubing.
For each tubing session (a period of one hour and 45 minutes), passes cost $25 plus a $5 media fee for visitors’ RIFD pass card. According to Mohawk’s website, all tubing participants must sign a tubing agreement, and participants under age 18 are required to have a parent or legal guardian’s signature before they can be issued a pass.
Tubing sessions at Mohawk are Fridays at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 pm. and 5 p.m.; and Sundays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Another popular spot is Butternut Ski Area and Tubing Center at 380 State Road in Great Barrington, Mass. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding opportunities, you can buy tubing tickets. They are sold for specific two-hour time slots, according to Butternut’s website; visitors are advised to arrive at least 5 to 10 minutes before their tubing session.
For Friday nights (non-holiday), tubing prices are $28 per session; for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the price is $33. For more information, go to www.skibutternut.com.