Flexible Flyers are out of fashion, I am sorry to say, with the advent of the boogie-board style foam rockets that propell our kids toward the slippery slope of danger vs. intense fun. But regardless of waxing nostalgic at the loss of a childhood icon, AK Fam nonetheless has been exploring all things sledding this winter now that AK Kid has finally reached an age where he can successfully navigate a sled and his own body at one of the many sledding hills our area offers for kids (and those who wish they were kids).
The last few weeks have been full of careful investigation and, using the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Sledding Hills map, AK Fam has been to a few of the many parks with designated hills for the sled-inclined.
There are ten hills listed on this map, available at all Parks and Recreation offices (we found ours at Russian Jack Springs Park at DeBarr and Boniface roads). Most are in West and Northeast Anchorage parks, our favorite being Nunaka Park at Craig Drive and Link Circle, near Beaver road and Cheney Lake. A downhomey sort of hill with woods surrounding it on three sides, the Nunaka slope has a long runout into baseball fields and trails to explore in the trees if kids become tired of climbing the hill.
Another option is to visit one of the elementary schools scattered all over town and inspect their sledding options. One we visit with regularity is Trailside Elementary on the same campus as Service High School. Service’s hill leading down to the football field is a true ‘bumps and jumps’ sort of hill, NOT one for the fearful or younger sledder. We prefer Trailside’s hill with a playground at the bottom and easy access for everyone. The views of Hillside trails, Ski Area, and surrounding mountains are pretty nice, too.
AK Dad is the usual sledding partner for Kid; Dads just seem to have that sense of adventure inherent in most youth, and ours is no different. Plus, there’s that steering thing that I just can’t seem to grasp; my sledding attempts end up backwards or on the soft side snow, not worthy of Kid’s praise for sure.
With the holiday break coming up in a few weeks, now’s the time to scout out your favorite hill, grab the sleds, and plan an afternoon or even evening of schussing fun. I always bring some hot drinks and a bag of popcorn or oranges to munch on during breaks, as well as some water for quenching thirst after lugging a sled up the hill a thousand times.
It’s another way to enjoy our marshmallow world in the winter, where are your fav sledding spots?