Tips for Safe Sledding

The first snowstorm of 2022 – and the biggest in the area since 2019 – left many hills blanketed with snow making it tempting for sledders, but it’s important to know how to sled safely first.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) shared a list of tips to avoid landing in the emergency room.

How to choose a hill to sled on:

  • Find a hill that is not too steep and has a long flat area at the bottom to glide to a stop.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot.
  • Make sure the bottom of any sledding hill is far from streets, traffic and frozen or partially frozen ponds, lakes or creeks.
  • Avoid hillsides that end near ponds, trees, fences, or other hazards.
  • Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as jumps, bumps, rocks, poles, or trees.
  • Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy to avoid hard landings that can cause injury.
  • Always sled during the daytime.

How to choose a sled:

  • Use equipment that is sturdy and avoid anything with sharp and jagged edges.
  • Look for energy-absorbing pads on sled seats.
  • Examine handholds on sleds to be sure they are secure.
  • Ensure sleds and toboggans have steering devices that work easily and don’t jam.
  • Only sled feet first while sitting up to avoid any head injuries.
  • Sledders of ages 12 and under should wear a helmet, especially ones designed for winter sports if possible.
  • Never ride in a sled pulled by a motorized vehicle.

Now put these tips to use by checking out a list of the best sledding hills recommended by Montgomery Parks.

Where to sled:

  • Avenel Local Park
  • Ayrlawn Local Park
  • Damascus Recreational Park (hillside near tennis court parking lot on Kings Valley Road)
  • Hillmead Neighborhood Park
  • Long Branch-Wayne Local Park (off of University Blvd.)
  • Norwood Local Park
  • Pilgrim Hills Local Park
  • South Germantown Recreational Park (hill behind Field F and hillside between Mooseum and TennisPlex)
  • Stratton Local Park
  • Tilden Woods Local Park
  • Woodacre’s Local Park

“We want residents to enjoy our parks year-round, in all weather, and snow provides another opportunity for fun outdoor recreation,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks in a press release. “We encourage everyone to be safe and use caution while sledding because snow can hide rocks, limbs, and other hazards.”

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