Photo by Dan Shulman of sledders in Central Park.
A storm just hit the city and dropped about four inches of snow on Central Park. For those looking to get out, we’ve listed some of the area’s most popular sledding spots below.
Not all of these hills are appropriate for little kids — or even for some adults — so be careful and use your judgment. Also, not all of these hills may be open for sledding.
Central Park has lots of good sledding hills, with the most famous being Pilgrim Hill just North of 72nd Street off of Fifth Avenue. Another well-known spot is Cedar Hill, just south of the Metropolitan Museum, also on the East side of the park. There’s also decent sledding just inside the entrance to the park on the West side of 72nd Street, South of the transverse road. Another spot just off of Central Park West is just South of Tavern on the Green around 66th Street. There’s also Frog Hill. Enter Central Park at the 77th Street and CPW, head toward Shakespeare Theater, but then veer right toward the Ramble, Cindy Stern tells us.
There are also lots of other hills throughout the park. Parks employees tend to set up hay bales in front of trees to keep kids from hurting themselves. Of course, kids will always find some way to hurt themselves.
In Riverside Park, there’s a hill around 103rd Street, one around the entrance to the park at 108th, and a popular one near the Hippo Playground at about 91st Street.
On Riverside Drive at 91st Street is a slope known as “Suicide Hill.” Parents, be sure to keep an eye out, because there are pretty steep spots and older kids can come hurtling down (no dawdling on the cell phone!). One person on yelp also offers this advice: “As long as you brace yourself, you won’t get too banged up. It gets pretty crowded after a lot of snow has stuck, so it’s best experienced earlier in the day.”
In Morningside Park, there’s a hill just below the Cathedral of St. John the Divine around 114th Street that’s pretty popular and offers a really nice view of the Cathedral. The city recommends spots at 110th, 113th and 122nd.
The absolute best sledding hill used to be at 65th street and riverside blvd, before it was ripped up for the next phase of Riverside Park South. What a shame. Looks like the whole area is going to be sheathed in concrete. Who approved that mess?
DO NOT SLED ON SUICIDE HILL UNLESS YOU WANT TO RISK YOUR BONES AND YOUR LIFE.
I’m not blaming WSR, but after reading a similar prior article and being over-confident in my adult discretion, I did so on the day of a nice snow dump last year, March 22. I took a couple of runs to gauge the steepness and thought I had it figured out.
Then, on the third run, by the time I realized I was going too fast, it was too late, and I slammed into the hay bales in front of the chain link fence surrounding the playground.
About a half hour later I was on my way to the hospital for surgery to insert two plates and 14 screws into my shattered right ankle. It took me 4 months to walk again. Nearly a year later, I still am not fully recovered.
The hill is steep and there is no flat part at the bottom. The nurse who visited me while I was confined to my apartment said there have been many ambulance visits to Suicide Hill. “Bracing yourself” will not suffice if you hit those hay bales, which are compacted and rock hard. I think the city and/or Parks should put warning signs there.
This is a ridiculous exaggeration. I’m a lifelong UWS’er, and have been doing runs down that hill solo since I was 8 years old. If you see a wall, common sense would be to bail!
I remember many bone-rattling descents of the hill in Riverside Park & 91st, which in my day–never mind!–was called Dead Man’s Hill. There were no hay bales then–compacted or otherwise–only the chain-link fence around the playground at the bottom. The way to have the longest–and probably least dangerous–ride was to to make an oblique run, starting almost on the flat rock outcrop on the right and going downhill to the left, where–at the very bottom–you could continue a few feet between the bushes and the fence. The last time I did that, I encountered two little boys who asked: “Lady, can we borrow your sled?” It was the “Lady” that got me!