To those who say Champaign-Urbana is just too flat for sledding, we say pshaw!
Whether you love snow or hate it, you can’t deny the appeal of bundling up and heading out for some good, old-fashioned cold-weather fun — sledding. And there are plenty of options in the Champaign-Urbana area for this classic winter pastime.
Kids big and small will love the thrill of careening down a hill on a piece of plastic, holding on for dear life.
Just try to make it down the hill without smiling…we double-dog dare you. And when you’re done, you can go home and have cookies and hot chocolate. What’s not to love?
Colbert Park Sled Hill, Savoy: Head to Savoy for this relatively new addition to the local sledding scene; go south on Neil Street (Route 45) and then east on Church Street. This is a pretty high hill, but you can modify for the little ones!
Homer Lake Forest Preserve: Rumor has it that snow makes this 828-acre preserve near Homer into a sledding wonderland, and it even has some historical significance. So after you take the kids sledding, tell them how Abraham Lincoln traveled on what was once a horse trail — and is now a county highway at the north end of the preserve — when he served on the 8th Judicial Circuit.
Crystal Lake Park, Urbana: C’mon, how can you resist a sledding area called “Cannonball Hill?” That’s what you’ll find in Urbana’s Crystal Lake Park. Sounds to us like you’re going to need your helmet.
Orchard Downs, Urbana: More commonly known as the spot where University of Illinois students with families can find a place to live on campus, Orchard Downs is also a swell spot for sledding. Located near the corner of. This hill also is behind Japan House and accessible there.
Morrissey Park, Champaign: Especially if you’ve got a newer sledder this is the place to go. A great “bunny” hill for the 5-and-under crowd, but older kids can have fun here too. This park can be seen from Windsor Road, but the hill can be accessed off Harrington Drive in Champaign.
Centennial Park, Champaign: Perhaps the granddaddy of all Chambana sled hills, this Champaign locale is located just west of Prairie Farm and south of the playground. Great for big kids, this is one is pretty steep.
Allerton Park, Monticello: We’ve heard that Allerton Park in Monticello is a great place to sled. The meadow hill is good for younger kids.
What’s your favorite spot to sled?