Sledding is my favorite winter outdoor activity and Twin Cities-area sledding hills can’t really be beat. They are free and abundant, and they come in all shapes and sizes. This is a growing list of recommended sledding hills around the metro. If you know of a hill not on this list, let us know and we’ll add it:
For more outdoor winter fun in the Twin Cities check out our round up of free outdoor ice skating rinks our Winter Survival Guide and our Winter Family Festival Calendar – all filled with ways to enjoy the cold season.
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The Minneapolis Park Board recommends three hills for sledding. However these are steeper grade hills most appropriate for older kids and adults. Residents know that any park with a slope is fair game as long as sledders are safe and courteous toward other park users. The three recommended hills are:
- The former tubing hill near the chalet at Wirth Park is now a free sledding hill.
- Sunset Hill in Valley View Park (which is operated by Minneapolis Parks, but located in Golden Valley).
- Columbia Golf Course in Northeast Minneapolis is one of the steepest hills in the neighborhood.
Also, note that the featured photo is a popular sledding hill between Jackson Square Park and Edison High School. I am not sure who owns the property. While it is not an official sledding hill, the terrain slopes inward away from all roads.
St Paul Parks
The St. Paul Parks Department recommends the following 15 parks for sledding. They also have a handy list of sledding safety tips on their site.
Town and County Club (pictured below) in St Paul allows some of the best free sledding in the city plus a pretty view of the Minneapolis skyline. As the slopes make up parts of the club’s golf course, the terrain varies. You can find bunny hills for tots as well as steep thrills for teens.
George Enloe Park in Anoka is a lit sledding hill, offering a safer evening sledding option. Double your fun with an outdoor ice skating rink (and a warming house when you need to thaw out your toes.)
Brooklyn Park Parks
Reader Jesse suggests Boone Hill, located in Bass Creek Park, for some great local sledding. This park offers a wide, medium slope sledding hill with enough room for multiple sledders. Kids of all ages should be able to find a slope that suits them.
North Lions Park and Valley Place Park are noted to have sledding hills by the City of Crystal. Both parks have warming houses open during ice rink hours and Valley Place Park sledding hill is lit until 10pm, making it a safer nighttime option for older kids.
Golden Valley Parks
Sunset Hill, located in Valley View Park, is operated by Minneapolis Parks but lies within Golden Valley city limits (northeast corner, to be exact). Try visiting at dusk to discover how the hill got its name.
For the best sledding to be found in Maple Grove, hit up Elm Creek Park Reserve. Operated by the excellent Three Rivers Parks District, Elm Creek features a free sledding hill and/or, for an extra thrill, a tubing area with lanes of varying steepness. Tubes rent for $15/2 hrs, Wed-Sun.
Elm Creek aims to fit most of your winter recreational needs – you can also ski, snowboard, snowshoe or kicksled in the park.
Baker Park Reserve is one of the Three Rivers Parks locations that rents sleds for just a dollar (plus tax).
The City of New Hope recommends Civic Center Park, Fred Sims Park, and Hidden Valley Park for sledding. The hill at Civic Center Park is lighted.
French Regional Park is another gem of a park operated by Three Rivers. A lighted and groomed sledding hill for is located near the visitor center. If you don’t care to lug your own sleds, rent one from the visitor center for just a buck plus tax.
Afton Heights Park in Maplewood offers a steep slope that ends within the east section of Battle Creek Regional Park (not to be confused with the west section of Battle Creek Park, located within the city of St Paul – that would be one crazy sledding hill!). Families also enjoy sledding at Hazelwood Park. It has a good-sized hill that slopes into the park (away from roads).
Ramsey County Parks maintains a designated sledding hill in Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park. It is located adjacent to the Snail Lake parking lot, handy for those toting sleds. Heads up! This is one of the more daring hills on our list.
Vadnais Heights Parks
The city does not officially endorse any specific sledding hills, but the slope at Kohler Meadows Park is popular with local sledders.
White Bear Lake Parks
Fans of Tamarack Nature Center‘s amazing Discovery Hollow nature play area may be surprised to learn that when the snow falls, a slope in the park turns into a designated winter sledding hill. Warm up with exhibits in the nearby nature center.
The nature center, nature playground and sledding hill are all elements within Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park.
The Manitou Ridge Golf course in White Bear Lake, lofty at one of the highest points in Ramsey County, is also open for sledding in the winter months.
The city of Burnsville endorses Neill Park for winter sledding. There are two slopes to choose from, including a gentler slope great for smaller kids. A street lamp at the top of the hill makes this park a safer option for evening sledding. Bring along your skates for the outdoor skating rink and hit the warming house when it’s time to thaw out.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve is a winter recreational haven – bring your own sleds or rent one for a buck at the Richardson Nature Center (also a fun place to warm up). The sledding hill is close to the nature center parking lot.
For bigger downhill thrills, visit the Hyland Hills Ski Area within Hyland Lake Park Reserve.
Running Park in Bloomington has a hilly terrain that is good for sledding. Bring along your skates for the outdoor ice rink. A warming house is open and staffed daily during the winter season.
Eden Prairie Parks
Staring Lake Park earns the highest marks in this corner of the Twin Cities metro for its 700-foot mega sledding hill. A new park building has opened where visitors can warm up and/or change into their snow gear while enjoying a lake view. The warming house is open 4-8pm on weekdays, 1-8pm on Saturdays and 1-5pm on Sundays. There is also an outdoor skating rink to round out your winter outing.
Edina’s Braemar Park boasts hills with a variety slopes making it a good pick for any level. Another spot popular with locals is the public park grounds around Lake Cornelia one block west of Southdale Center.
The City of Minnetonka does not officially endorse any sledding hills, but locals recommend visiting Glen Lake School, Lone Lake Park, and Gro Tanka Park for a good slide.
St. Louis Park Parks
St. Louis Park officially lists the following parks for sledding:
|Ainsworth Park||Keystone Park|
|Aquila Park||Louisiana Oaks Park|
|Browndale Park||Minikahda Vista Park|
|Cedar Manor/Lake Park||Oak Hill Park|
|Dakota Park||Wolfe Park|
One of the five parks recommended for sledding within the Three Rivers Parks District is Carver Park Reserve. Just outside the Lowry Nature Center rests a groomed sledding hill. No sled, no problem; rent sleds for just a buck (plus tax) inside the nature center.
If you want to take a Minnesota road trip that includes sledding, the State Parks also offer sledding hills at these locations.
Also, check out Gianna’s list of tubing hills here. Did we miss some? Do you have other favorites? Drop us a line. We’ll add more as we discover them.
Free outdoor ice skating
Strap on your skates and head out to these free ice rinks across the Twin Cities!