Sledding Fun in the City

Central Park. Photo by asterix611.
Central Park. Photo by asterix611.

When it comes to Central Park, take your pick of where you want to stage your snow day—simply find an incline and sled to your heart’s content. However, there are some “official” slopes designated in the Park. The steepest one is Pilgrim Hill—which is the stuff of sledding legend with a big, scary push-off, but smooth finish (72nd Street and 5th Avenue). Cedar Hill is less populated and best for beginners (enter the park between 76th and 79th Streets at 5th Avenue). Dog Hill is another popular spot, though you may have to dodge some trees to ensure a successful ride (East side of Central Park and 80th Street).

At Riverside Park, you can glide gently down the slopes between 92nd and 103rd Streets, or like a bat out of you-know-where by Hippo Playground (91st Street at Riverside Drive). Nearby 103rd Street is also a go-to hill.

Go sledding by the mayor’s house at Carl Schurz Park! The big, kid-friendly slope at the north end near Gracie Mansion is fast, fun, and bumpy. Thrill-seekers welcome.

Brooklyn natives know to hit Prospect Park’s popular hill right inside the park at 9th Street. Equally popular are the inclines surrounding the Nethermead (enter at 9th Street and Prospect Park West). 

Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx is an expansive, 1,100-acre space in New York’s hilliest borough. There is fine sledding at the park’s southwestern edge, along Van Cortlandt Park South, near the entrance to the Major Deegan Expressway. (Van Cortlandt Park South between Broadway and Jerome Avenues)

Crocheron Park in Queens is a beautiful open space, catering to both cautious kids and daredevils alike with its mix of moderate and steeper hills. It also tends to not be as crowded as many larger parks (35th Avenue between Cross Island Parkway and 215th Street).

The steep inclines of Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park are formidable but fun, hence their appeal to a diverse mix of serious sledders. Park rangers regularly organize and oversee sledding races on the hill whenever there are school snow days.