For thousands of local children – and quite a few adults, too – sledding is a highlight of the winter season. Metro Parks wants to remind the public it will open hills in seven parks for sledding from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on days when snow accumulation reaches 2-3 inches.
Metro Parks has selected its best and safest sledding hills in the area. As long as the sledding hills maintain adequate snow coverage, they will remain open. Park users are asked to avoid sledding when hills are closed. Sledding on slopes that lack appropriate snow depth will cause turf damage that must be repaired in the spring.
The rule of thumb for determining if enough snow accumulation has occurred is that if you see blades of grass poking through the snow cover; it’s not deep enough to sled safely. Sledding when parks employees have not posted the “open” sign, and at all other times, comes at your own risk.
DESIGNATED SLEDDING HILLS:
- Sledding is permitted on designated sledding hills when the “Sledding Hill Open” sign is displayed.
- Sledding hills will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. as long as there is adequate snow to protect slopes; all sledding hills will close at 11 p.m.
- Park vehicles only in regular parking areas to protect your car from damage.
- No vehicles are permitted off the pavement in any park.
- No alcoholic beverages are permitted at any time.
- Those who use the designated sledding hills are doing so at their own risk. Bonfires will not be permitted at Metro Parks’ sites, and sledders are urged to carry a cell phone in the event of an emergency.
SLEDDING SAFETY TIPS:
- Only use devices designed for sledding.
- Wear appropriate clothing – loose ends or flaps can easily get caught.
- Sleds should contain a number of riders appropriate for the designated device during each descent.
- Dress in layers, so you can remove one layer without risking frostbite. Several thin layers are warmer than one bulky layer.
- Make sure you’re with someone who knows your name and can contact family in an emergency; parents should remain with their children.
- Don’t drink alcohol before sledding – it impairs your ability to use good judgment and causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
- Check your path for trees and other objects before starting your descent.
- Don’t sled head-first or standing up. Good visibility is necessary during your descent. Don’t face backwards, and make sure your vision isn’t obscured by hats and scarves.
- When climbing the hill, stay to the sides. Don’t climb in the sledding path. It’s important to remember that slopes can become very crowded during peak times.