The top places to go sledding in the Champaign-Urbana area
Grab your sleds because snow is coming! Find all of our favorite sledding hills for families in Champaign, Urbana and beyond
To those who say Champaign-Urbana is just too flat for sledding, we say pshaw! There are tons of great options when you’re looking for a place to take your kids sledding.
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?
Champaign, Urbana and Savoy
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 one is pretty steep.
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.
Crystal Lake Park, Urbana: While sledding here has not been allowed for a couple of years during the Urbana Park District’s significant rehabilitation of Crystal Lake Park, sledders are now welcomed back to “Cannonball Hill.” Park near the Lake House and head in to the park and to the east and you’ll run right into it. The hill is lit until 9 p.m. (The Urbana Park District recommended Prairie Park as a sledding alternative, but we haven’t tried sledding there yet. Let us know if we should add it to this list.)
Douglass Park, Champaign: Another Champaign Park District recommendation here. For sledders in the central part of Champaign-Urbana looking for a pretty easy sledding run, you can try this hill.
Hallbeck Park, Champaign: For the most tiny or timid sledders who seek to avoid both speed and crowds, we recommend the gentle “hill” in Cherry Hills’ Hallbeck Park, on Duncan south of Windsor. (Nearest street parking is just south of the hill on Wedgewood Drive.)
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.
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. It’s located near the corner of Florida and Orchard. This hill is also accessible from Japan House or the Horticulture Field Lab.
Sunset Ridge Park, Champaign: The Champaign Park District recommends this hill for sledders on the northwest side of Champaign looking for some fun in the snow. Not widely known as a popular sledding spot in Champaign, this is a good place to get a little bit — but not too much — speed in your sled this winter.
Sledding Hills a Short Drive from Champaign-Urbana
Homer Lake Forest Preserve: Rumor has it that snow turns 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.
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.
Weldon Springs, Clinton: The farthest spot on our list, Weldon Springs is a winter wonderland for recreation in the snow. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding are all popular here. The sledding hill is even labeled on the map.
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