You've got a sled, the snow is falling, now you just need a good hill. So, bundle up, slap some wax on the Snow Tiger and get yourself to one of these Milwaukee sledding hills ASAP! It's not hard to find a place to sled--if you know where to look. Many Milwaukee County Parks, not just in the city of Milwaukee but in nearby suburbs, host sledding spots when there's snow on the ground. If you aren't familiar with sledding in Milwaukee, know that it's practically a tradition each winter.
Round out the day by stopping for hot chocolate or mocha at one of the area's many coffee shops, including Stone Creek Coffee, Collective Coffee locations. (For a list of locations, check out these links: Colectivo Coffee and Stone Creek Coffee.
Need a sled? Places to pick one up are all over the region, including Target and Wal-Mart stores as well as Blain's Farm & Fleet stores.
Before heading out, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast so you can dress appropriately. While it's rare, a biting wind-chill can necessitate covering your entire face (ski masks are a great idea) and definitely make sure fingers are covered in gloves, mittens or Gore-Tex gloves/mittens. Be sure to dress in layers, too, because while zipping up and down the sled hills, you might soon get warm and need to shed one of those layers.
And don't forget to grab a camera or make sure your cell phone is charged--your California cousins will marvel at the fact that you're in winter wonderland!
Milwaukee County publishes a list each winter season of popular sledding-hill locations, too. You can consult that list here.
It's also recommended that you view this helpful list of safety guidelines. You may think there's no risk of an accident, but anyone who has barreled down an icy hill toward a stand of trees knows that you must take precautions. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, sledders should opt to sled in an area free of fixed objects--fences, trees and posts. And kids under the age of 12 should wear a helmet (a bicycle or skateboarding helmet is fine). Dress in layers not just for warmth, but for protection, should you collide with another sled or slip on a patch of ice; you'll be grateful for the extra padding!
And, finally, avoid sledding after dark unless the area is well-lit. Most sledding accidents happen due to not being able to see what's in front of you. Take that risk out of the equation by only sledding during the daytime, wearing a head lamp or choosing to sled in well-lit areas.
Daytime Sledding Hills
- Bayside Village Hall, 9075 N. Regent Rd., Bayside
- Columbus Park, 7301 W. Courtland Ave., Milwaukee (West Side)
- Greene Park, 4235 S. Lipton Ave., St. Francis
- Hales Corners Park, 5765 S. New Berlin Rd., Hales Corners
- Hawthorn Glen, 1130 N. 60th St., Milwaukee (North Side) (Note: This is part of the Hawthorn Glen Outdoor Education Center, a nice spot for hiking pre- or post-sledding. There are also changing rooms in the center for guests' use.)
- Kinderberg Park, N104 W14942 Donges Bay Rd. Germantown
- Kletzsch Park, 6561 N. Milwaukee River Pkwy., Glendale
- LaFollette Park, 9418 W. Washington St., West Allis
- Maitland Park, 6001 S. 13th St., Milwaukee (South Side)
- McCarty Park, 8214 W. Cleveland Ave., Milwaukee (West Side)
- McGovern Park, 5400 N. 51st St., Milwaukee (North Side)
- Mee-Kwon Park, 6333 W. Bonniwell Rd., Mequon
- Sheridan Park, 4800 S. Lake Dr., Cudahy
- St. Mary’s Hill, 2323 N. Lake Dr., Milwaukee (East Side)
- Wilson Recreation, 4001 S. 20th St. (South Side)
- Whitnall Clubhouse, 5879 S. 92nd St., Franklin (Note: On-site concessions make this a fun stop for the whole family. Ski and snowshoe rentals are also offered through the clubhouse, perfect for a group that doesn't all want to sled.)
Lighted Sledding Hills
- Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Rd., Brown Deer, lit until 8 p.m.
- Currie Park, 3535 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa, lit until 9 p.m.
- Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee (Bay View), lit until 8 p.m.
- Pulaski Park, 2677 S. 16th St., Milwaukee (South Side), lit until 10 p.m.
- Whitnall Park, 5879 S. 92nd St., Franklin, lit until 10 p.m.