Best Tobogganing and Sledding in Michigan
In winter, Michigan is home to endless snow-covered hills that makes for top notch sledding and tobogganing.
Snowboarding, downhill skiing, and snow tubing in Michigan are all great ways to spend time outside in the wintry weather, but there’s nothing quite like flying down a hill on a sled or toboggan: your very own magic carpet.
We’re sharing our best sledding and tobogganing spots in Michigan. Looking for sledding hills near me? Read on for more on our favorite outdoor activity and then get out there and have some fun, weather permitting!
What is a Toboggan?
A toboggan is a simple flat-bottom sled made with wooden boards that curl up at the front.
Traditionally a toboggan was used by the Innu and Cree tribes of northern Canada for transportation, but now it’s often used to slide from the top of the hill, all the way down its snow-covered slope for fun and thrills.
Unlike other sleds and sleighs, toboggans have no runners or skis along the bottom, meaning the entire base of the toboggan rides directly on the snow.
Often toboggan runs are used to make the most of these special sleds, allowing them to zoom downhill in lanes that function similarly to bobsled courses.
Throughout history, tobogganing and sledding have been a favorite winter pastime in Michigan.
Tobogganing in East Michigan
Kensington Metropark is designed for accessibility. Although the equipment is not available for rent, anyone and everyone who visits can ride the slopes with their sled or toboggan.
With sledding hills of varying levels, sledders of all skills can enjoy a day at the park. Consider bringing ice skates to enjoy their outdoor skating rink as well.
As the name suggests, Toboggan Hill is a favorite destination to race sleds and toboggans downhill. This spot is the biggest, best, and most challenging sledding area in all of the Genesee County Parks.
The long rolling hillside provides the thrills of a roller coaster ride with expert-level challenges. It might not be for everyone, but it is fun for all.
One of the most popular places for tubing and tobogganing in Metro Detroit is Shiawassee Sledding Hill in Farmington.
This spot is great for families with children and beginner sledders with safe walking spaces and a slope that provides plenty of fun without too much speed. Throughout winter the hill is open to the public free of charge.
Designed with sledding in mind, Snowy Ridge Park has smooth ground, a big hill, and plenty of thrills.
Opened in 2013 as the area’s only sledding hill with associated parking, it has since become a favorite spot for locals to bring their sleds and toboggans for winter fun.
Stony Creek Metropark – Shelby Township
Stony Creek Metropark has nearly 5,000 acres of greenspace that transform into a winter wonderland as the weather gets cold. While popular all year round, the sledding and tubing opportunities in winter bring in people of all ages for downhill thrills.
Check near the park picnic areas for two of the best sledding and tubing hills around. Be sure to bring your toboggan, sled, or inner tube and enjoy the ride.
Tobogganing in West Michigan
Echo Valley – Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo’s premier winter sports park, Echo Valley, is a favorite spot for tobogganing, snow tubing, and sledding in Michigan.
Newly-expanded snow runs mean maximum quality rides and the luxuries of heated sidewalks and a tow rope make the hills more accessible. The toboggan hill is one of the few of its kind in the state with speeds of up to 60mph.
Binder Park Golf Course Winter Sports Park – Battle Creek
In the winter the full-service golf course at Binder Park draws visitors in for a different reason. Bring a sled or an inner tube to the park to coast down the snow-covered hills.
If you don’t have a sled, toboggan, or tube of your own, snow tube rentals are available and a warming house is also accessible on weekends.
Pigeon Creek Park – West Olive
In West Olive, Pigeon Creek Park offers snow sports for all interests, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and of course sledding.
With equipment rental and no trail fees, anyone can join in the fun, even if you don’t have a sled or toboggan of your own.
Tobogganing in Mid-Michigan
Midland City Forest – Midland
Midland City Forest is a popular mid-Michigan winter destination. Here you can find one of just a handful of hand-packed toboggan runs in the whole state, making for a unique and smooth tobogganing experience unlike any other.
Take your sled or inner tube and give the sledding hill a shot for another fast and fun ride. Afterward, warm up at the City Forest Chalet with a cup of hot cocoa.
Hawk Island Park – Lansing
Famous for its abundant hiking trails and scenic views, the wintertime at Hawk Island Park is one of the best places in the Lansing area to sled and snow tube.
Enjoy hours of fun racing down the sledding hill then escape the cold for a while in the warming lodge on site.
Tobogganing in Northern Michigan
Mt. McSauba Recreation Area – Charlevoix
Mt. McSauba Recreation Area in Charlevoix has been voted one of the best small Michigan ski areas. While it’s favored by skiers and snowboarders, plenty of visitors loves to use the hill for sledding, tubing, and tobogganing.
With ten runs and four rope tows, everyone can find plenty of ways to enjoy the snow here.
Petoskey Winter Sports Park – Petoskey
In Petoskey, the Winter Sports Park provides a safe community space for popular winter activities. Hills welcome sleds, toboggans, and tubes, as well as skis and snowboards.
Plenty of amenities, including a warming house with concessions, restrooms, and a fireplace makes this one of the best places for a day filled with snow sports. On weekends you can even host outdoor campfires.
Mt. Zion Ski Hill – Ironwood
On the Gogebic Community College campus, Mt. Zion Ski Hill stands tall as an iconic place to go tubing in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
Considering the college’s acclaimed Ski Area Management program, it should come as no surprise that people in the area love the sport.
Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, or tubing, the hill has something for everyone. Rent a tube, take some lessons, and take in the astounding view.
Mont Ripley – Hancock
In the Upper Peninsula, Mont Ripley is owned by Michigan Tech University and stands as one of the best winter sports parks in the area.
Its 21 snow trails draw winter sports enthusiasts from all over Michigan looking for a thrill. Aside from cross country ski trails, an excellent hill makes snow tubing and tobogganing extra fun. Festivals and events run on-site throughout the year, offering a variety of ways to have fun at Mont Ripley.
About the Author~
Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland and later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school and she is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.
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