This post originally appeared on the Longmont Compass on February 16, 2015 and is solely for portfolio purposes.
Longmont’s Best Sledding Hills
Two evenings ago I was sitting on my back porch in a T-shirt drinking lemonade and listening to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I was celebrating the end of Winter, as I tend to do every few weeks from October to May.
This morning I woke up to snow falling, and a sheet of ice on my windshield that served to break the ice scraper I’ve been using for the past 5 years (R.I.P. Scrapey). Suffice it to say, I might have been incorrect about the end of winter…
Despite the bone-chilling tedium of living through the alternating single-digit temperatures and heat waves of a Longmont winter, there is still fun to be had. It’s the only season for things like snowball fights, ice skating, and sledding (unless you’re familiar with ice-blocking).
With Colorado’s general reputation for winter sports, and thrill-seeking, you might think that Longmont would have dozens, if not hundreds, of primo sledding hills.
The great sledding hills are few and far between, leaving mild-adrenaline junkies scrambling for local places to get that incomparable rush you get from sliding over some frozen water on a plastic disc.
We compiled a list of the best sledding hills in Longmont, and have graded the best, ahem, grades.
Twin Peaks Golf Course: 4/10
Twin Peaks Golf Course is one of the tamest sledding locations in town. Eighteen holes of rolling hills, and a picturesque backdrop for some wintertime photos.
Benefits: The sledding action is actually pretty boring unless you like short, slow rides, so there won’t be too many people there.
Perils: Gophers, right? That was the animal in Caddyshack, right?
Skyline High School: 6/10
There was a big fuss about the hill by Skyline High School when the school was being renovated. There was a lot talk about a new parking lot destroying “Longmont’s best sledding hill.”
Benefits: There’s a lot of space for sledding, and you can travel far pretty easily. There’s not too much danger of sledding onto Alpine Street, so Moms can rest easy.
Perils: The hills facing West aren’t conducive to going very fast compared to other options in town. The steeper hills on the South side of the school, however, would get you going pretty fast… but would also land you smack dab in the middle of Mountain View Avenue traffic. You should avoid that.
Sunset Middle School: 7/10
The hill by Sunset Middle School is one the steepest sledding hills in town, and has the added bonus of being next to Burlington Cemetery, in case you like spooky sledding.
Benefits: You will go fast.
Perils: The slope levels out very quickly at the bottom, making faceplants an easy accomplishment.
Garden Acres Park: 7/10
My old stomping ground, the Northern part of Garden Acres Park has a large field surrounded by hills that I, as a kid, used to call The Pit.
Benefits: The Pit has a big circumference so there’s a lot of space to sled, and the slope is pretty steep.
Perils: After a relatively warm day, the bottom of The Pit becomes slushy and muddy, and makes a big mess. Many kids try to build ramps at the bottom that will either crumble or freeze into chunks of ice that have been known to break sleds. And kids.
Dry Creek Community Park: 9/10
Dry Creek Community Park is one of Longmont’s newest parks. It’s just South of Silver Creek High School, and has the mother of all sledding hills in Longmont. The large hill at the Southeast corner of the park has 360° of Grade A sledding capability. Approaching this mecca of tobogganing will put a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.
Benefits: What Dry Creek lacks in steepness, it makes up for in height, variety, and space. It’s one of the tallest hills for sledding so you’ll get more time on the snow than almost anywhere. Three-quarters of the hill is steep grades that lead into what looks like a ditch. The rest is long, shallow, and perfect for going distance.
Perils: Sledding down the steeper sides may result in colliding with a disc golf target. Not recommended if you are not a Frisbee.
Note: A reader informed us that many of the hills at Dry Creek Community Park are not mowed. We recommend full face masks to combat the tall grasses…
Sunset Street: 9-1-1
We aren’t saying that you should sled down the middle of Sunset Street just South of 3rd, but we’ve gone down that hill on bikes and skateboards before, and it would be one hell of a ride on a sled. But you definitely shouldn’t do it because it’s totally illegal.
Benefits: It would be the best sledding of your life, and you would become a legend.
Perils: It’s illegal, there are train tracks at the bottom, it’s illegal, cars drive on that road all the time, and it’s illegal. You really, really shouldn’t do it. You should think about how awesome it would be, but definitely don’t try it under any circumstances, even a triple-dog dare.
P.S. Really, don’t do it. The best sledding is not in the streets.