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Sledding in Rochester (Rochester Blog)

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Sledding in Rochester, NY

Great Places to Hit the Slopes in Rochester

Sledding in WinterWith the busy Christmas season over, a lot of people are finding themselves with more time to relax and kick back. With no more shopping, family visits, travelling, or parties to plan, there’s a sudden feeling of relief and repose after the busy past few months. Finally! Now we can all breathe and enjoy the tranquility of the post-holiday season.

Or at least it SEEMS as though that should be the case. As a 24-year old graduate student and public school teacher, I know it can be hard to convince myself sometimes to put down my work and go out for awhile with friends. A couple weeks ago, however, one of my friends called me and convinced me to go sledding over at Mendon Ponds. While I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d be able to spare a few hours on a cold hill, or simply whether I had the energy, I went along with it.

Now, I haven’t been sledding in years, and I’d forgotten not only how fun it was, but also how surprisingly WARM it is. Armed with only a sweatshirt, shoes, and light gloves, I never once felt cold.  I also underestimated just how much pent-up energy I had stored up over the past few weeks of lesson planning and homework.

Sledding is truly one of the best ways to go out and spend some time with friends. Check it out:

  1. Sledding is free.  Unless you have to buy a sled, but those only cost about $5-20.
  2. It’s excellent exercise.
  3. Don’t think you have time to exercise? Sledding for just an hour can burn about 300-400 calories!  Even more if you run up the hills…
  4. There are places to sled everywhere.

I’ve lived in Rochester my entire life and gone sledding in many places. As a kid, Mendon Ponds Park was always the standby – you’d go with friends and their families, and then see even more people you knew once you were out there. However, there are many places in the area to go sledding.  Here are a few highlights (ranked in order of personal favorites).

  1. Mendon Ponds Park. Many large hills spread out throughout the park so you aren’t on top of other sledders. Outside shelters available.
  2. Ellison Park. A few big hills and several very large ones. Outside shelters available.
  3. Powder Mills Park. Many snow activities, including skiing. Outside shelters available.
  4. Durand Eastman Park. Right next to the lake, great kills. Outside shelters available.
  5. Perinton Recreation Center. Great for various talents, as there is a variety of hill sizes. Outside shelters available.

Upon creating this list, I also located an excellent site that lists various places in Rochester for sledding as well. I’ve avoided places by schools because I’m not sure whether sledding is officially permitted at any of them. See their list at:

Another place that is worth noting is located in Batavia, called Polar Wave Snow Tubing. I have not personally visited this place yet, but I’ve heard excellent things.  It violates my first rule of sledding, however, and costs money – it’s $14 for 2hrs and $16 for 3hrs, which is not bad at all, but still costs money. Snow tubes and a pulley that takes you to the top of the hill are available, as well as group rates. They also create their own artificial snow. You can see their site at:

Get out and sled! The snow will be gone before you know it!

James Hallahan is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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