Take a Ride on Punderson Sledding Hill
There is no better winter combination for epic outdoor sledding than lake effect snow and the steep, rolling hills in northeast Ohio. Punderson State Park, which is dubbed Ohio’s winter playground for good reason, takes sledding to a new level with a mechanical lift now in its first full winter season. The sledding lift is part of $5 million in improvements to Punderson by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
While families have targeted the sledding hills at Punderson for years for free, winter fun, the new lift means you can spend more hours sledding down the hill than trudging up it. This is especially welcome news for parents who often have to haul several sleds and tubes to the top.
The new tow rope works with the similar concept of a ski lift, except your feet stay on the ground. Plastic hooks on the mechanical tow attach onto sleds and inner tubes to pull sledders up the hill. For added safety, there is a designated entry ramp to the lift, so there is an efficient flow of sledders coming and going.
Also, new this winter season is the expansion of tube lanes from two to five and more new inner tubes available for free use.
The new lift adds to the already fantastic sledding environment at Punderson, which often has deep natural snow, making it one of the best hills in the state. There is even night lighting, so your sledding time is only limited by your endurance and stamina in the cold. You can warm up in between runs in the chalet near the sledding hill with hot cocoa and concessions.
To make a full winter day out of your visit, be sure to check out the tennis courts that have been converted into an ice skating rink.
The sledding hill is open during the week, making it an easy snow day option when kids get a surprise day off of school. However, you will want to call ahead for current conditions.
It is easy to have a getaway of several days with nearby Punderson Manor serving as a home base. There are several lodging options from traditional resort rooms in the main lodge, to boutique rooms in the old Manor house, and to private cabins.
You can fill your time at Punderson State Park on cross-country skiing trails, snowmobile trails, a musher trail, and hiking trails that are also open in the winter.
Punderson State Park is located at 11755 Kinsman Road in Newbury Township.