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The 13 Best Twin Cities Sledding Hills—Visit ‘Em NOW!

Look folks, we've been sitting on this story for weeks. Blame the melting planet!

Facebook: Kingfield Neighborhood Association|

Fun in the snow at Lyndale Farmstead Park.

I love sledding. My kids love sledding even more. We were really looking forward to scoping out the best sledding spots in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper all winter long—together.

But it wasn't meant to be. Instead, I strapped on my tennis shoes and paced the barren slopes by myself, honing my unmatched ability to see snow and fun where others see only crunchy brown grass. I texted fellow parents in faraway places like the east side of St. Paul and far south Minneapolis for good measure. A social network that’s roughly 85% parents of kids under 7 comes in handy sometimes.

Anyway, I’m reasonably confident I know where you and/or your family should bring your sleds… at least until this rare snowfall melts next week.

The Best Sledding Hills in Minneapolis and St. Paul

And the barest slice of Golden Valley.

FYI: These hills mostly pass for adventurous sledding in this part of the world. Visit the three honorable mentions at the end for a kinder, gentler experience.

Hill directions assume you’re at the top, facing downhill.

Sunset Hill

26th Ave. N & Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis

This is my neighborhood sledding hill. It’s not the biggest or baddest in town, but it’s the one I know best. The southwest exposure lives up to its name come late afternoon. Adults and older kids prefer the steeper right side. Get a running start to catch air off the step three-quarters of the way down. Just watch out for the big oak tree. 

Audubon Park Sledding Hill

29th Ave. NE & Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis

The entire western half of Audubon Park is steep enough to sled, but the official sledding hill is over by the playground near 29th Ave. NE. For a more treacherous, unsanctioned experience, find a line through the trees closer to Fillmore. Trudge over to The Coffee Shop Northeast for a bite and a warm drink afterward.

Theodore Wirth Park (Wirth Chalet)

1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Golden Valley

This is one of the Cities’ few lighted sledding hills, open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s also nearly alone in offering loaner sleds at the nearby Adventure Shop at The Trailhead—a five-minute walk each way. Good lines and a long slope on this one. Stay off the adjacent tubing hill, or cough up $17 for a lift pass there.

Columbia Golf Club

3300 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis

Just northwest of the clubhouse, the unlighted Columbia Golf Club sledding run is “one of the steepest hills in the area,” the Park Board says. The official hill’s slope has a few twists and turns. Avoid the far right side unless you want to end up in the woods. Hike farther in to make fresh tracks on the course’s gnarlier northern slopes.

Powderhorn Park

3400 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis

For one glorious day each January, bowl-shaped Powderhorn Park is the place to sled in Minneapolis; perhaps you remember this year's snowless, headline-grabbing Art Sled Rally. The park is uniquely suited for scooting downhill: Basically any clear in-facing slope along Powderhorn's northern half is fair game for sledding. You’ll end up on the ball fields no matter what.

MLK Park

4055 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

MLK Park has a short, super-steep slope from the playground down to the basketball court and a broader, bowl-shaped, lightly treed exposure in the southwest quadrant. The latter is convenient to Nicollet & 42nd Street but slopes away from both roads.

Battle Creek Park (Community Recreation Center)

75 Winthrop St. S., St. Paul

Find St. Paul’s answer to Wirth Chalet’s open-late run at Battle Creek Community Recreation Center, which has two lighted runs open until 10 p.m. They’re long, straight, and bottom out gradually, belying their steepness. Bit of a hike in though—bring sturdy boots.

Town & Country Club

300 N. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul

Does free, no-questions-asked sledding access atone for complicity in an ongoing land-use tragedy? Hell no. But it’s a nice gesture. And a nice place to throw yourself downhill. The course is basically one long slope down toward the Mississippi, with arguably the best views of any hill on this list. The approaches to the clubhouse, closer to Marshall Avenue, are most convenient.

Highland Park Water Tower

782 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul

A veritable mountain by local standards, this hill lurches southward from its iconic baby-blue namesake. It’s steep, it’s bumpy, and it gets real crowded after a good snowfall. But it’s arguably the best sledding in St. Paul.

Highland Park Community Center

1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul

A few blocks west down Ford Parkway, Highland Park Community Center has a slightly tamer but still plenty-steep hill well back from the street. Stay left to avoid trees. As at Sunset Hill, late afternoon can be a treat.

Honorable Mentions

  • Lyndale Farmstead Park (3900 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis): The editor of this story, who's writing this very sentence, went there once with his family and the family of Viraluae's ex-beer columnist; they had a wonderful family, not unlike the sledders you see in the photo above.
  • Phelps Field Park (701 E. 39th St., Minneapolis): Like MLK Park, Phelps pairs a gentle bowl with a steeper drop into a basketball court.
  • Prosperity Park (Ivy Ave. E & Germain St., St. Paul): Germain Street becomes a walking path south of Ivy. Follow it to a narrow, woodsy run that’s rarely busy.

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