Roundup of Northern Michigan Sled/Ski Hills for Kids

Bundle the kids up and head out to a snowy hill for an afternoon of Northern Michigan outdoor thrills. This roundup includes seven Northern Michigan sled/ski hills ranging from gentle descents to serious verticals. Whether you’re taking the kids sledding for the first time, looking for a lit hill for nighttime fun, or need a loaner, you’ll find it here. Remember to wear a helmet, especially if you’re shredding the jumps, and hold tight!

Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes in Glen Arbor

The Dune Climb is the only place in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that you can sled, and it’s a perfect spot to hit the slopes. With wide open areas and no trees in the middle of your path, this is a great hill to take your beginning sledders on, but it’s also for those that are a little more daring.

Grace McDonald Park in Traverse City

The park on Arbutus Road has a perfect hill for easy riders; it’s not too steep but has enough trees at the bottom to make things exciting. There’s plenty of parking, hiking trails, and playground equipment.

Winter Sports Park in Petoskey

This hill works well for little ones (if you go halfway up) and is great for beginner skiers or snowboarders too. Get tired of being a speed demon? For $5 you can rent ice skates and glide along the 170×300-foot rink that’s resurfaced daily. A warming house with a fireplace, restrooms, and concessions makes this a premium spot to spend a snowy day or night (the place is lit!).

Mount McSauba in Charlevoix

The hill is lit for night sledding, plus parents can chill with their Wi-Fi gadgets in the viewing lounge. It’s a bonus that it happens to look out over Lake Charlevoix.

Kiwanis Hill in Harbor Springs

This hill boasts some serious vertical, along with sled-shredding jumps along the edge of the woods, great walking trails that circle the property, and a warming hut available for rent (dirt cheap rent, we might add). Located just blocks from downtown at the end of Arbor Street.

Avalanche Mountain Preserve in Boyne City

Loaner sleds and ice skates are available on a first-come, first serve basis.  The hill is plenty big enough to elicit screams on the way down and the warming house will let you stay all day without fear of frostbite. Once you’re tired of sledding, head over to the ice rink more fun.

Find a Resort in the Ski Directory

Don’t mind paying a few bucks and happen to hate the walk back up the hill? Check out the tubing facilities at resorts like Shanty Creek, Treetops, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands. Tow ropes will pull you back up these extreme sled spots, where helmets are a must.

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Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    On the North Face of Schuss Mountain in Cedar River Village is the 600 foot, 5-lane tubing park with handle tow lifts back to the top. And it’s never too crowded because they monitor the number of folks tubing.