Sledding Spots In Central Park, Riverside Park and Morningside Park

Sometimes the best sledding experience is when someone pulls you. Photo by Sarah Mai-Pugh.

The first major snowstorm of the year is sticking, and that means that local hills could be sufficiently covered on Thursday for some solid sledding.

Everyone’s got their favorite hills — sometimes it’s just the closest downward slope. But here are a few that have entertained generations of Upper West Side kids. Sled at your own risk, of course — some of these spots may not be for everyone, or may be blocked by the city.

In Central Park, the best-known sledding spot is probably Pilgrim Hill, which is 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 are decent hills 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. And some people sled at the the Great Hill and the Pool, in the low 100’s.

Riverside Park at 104th. Photo by Ernie Fritz.

In Riverside Park, there are hills at 91st, 103rd-104th and 108th Streets. These can be steep — the one at 91st is known as Suicide Hill or Dead Man’s Hill and we’ve heard of people being injured there. But it’s still very popular. People have also been sledding on the hills in Riverside Park South below 72nd Street, thought this area looks super-fast so be forewarned!

In Morningside Park, a hill just below the Cathedral of St. John the Divine around 114th Street is popular and offers a really nice view of the Cathedral. The city recommends spots at 110th, 113th and 122nd. The Morningside Area Alliance says “helmets encouraged.”

And face-masks too!

Sometimes, even the grown-up kids at Columbia get in on the act, right on the library steps.

Photo by Ira Schwarz.

OUTDOORS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. Marcia Kaye says:

      Charming photos, and the guided tour of hills
      The small, verite candids and accompanying tips on the best hills, all presented in a nostalgic way. It’s almost like lifting the glitzy scrim that’s been hiding wonderful old New York and letting us remember the way it was. Proof that the UWS has lost its way: Closed markets have cut traditional Chanukah at home menu items. Citorella had only white horse radish; while Fairway had none!

      • Spoiler says:

        “The UWS has lost its way” and “we”re in the worst part of a pandemic that has cost over 300,000 american lives” are not the same. Sorry about your horseradish challenges, but this is hardly the result of “losing its way.”

        • GG says:

          Took the words right out of my mouth.

          Let’s try to keep things in perspective, folks.

          Horseradish?! Do you have any idea how petty and frivolous that sounds? People are dying for crying out loud.

      • Josh says:

        Oh, the horror! How could life even continue with only white horseradish? And how dare you have to cook food yourself. The horrors, the horrors. The UWS has so lost its way. Next, we are going to find out we will have to start doing our own laundry!

      • NotImpressed says:

        Marcia, I enjoyed your humor.
        Sorry that others didn’t get it and took you too seriously.
        Happy Hanukkah!

      • nemo paradise says:

        I’m with you. I can’t find any evergreen garland, so there will be no twinkling lights on our fireplace mantlepiece or dining room buffet table, and there are no large wreaths for sale anywhere, which means we will have to make do with meager 16″ door-size items over our living room and dining room windows.

        It’s almost not worth doing anymore. My kids won’t wear their antlers, and our building’s Christmas party has been cancelled so there will be no cheese log Christmas Eve.

        This is the way our heritage dies.

    2. UWS-er says:

      For the preschool crowd, the gentle hill in Riverside Park around 74th St. is popular.

    3. Michal says:

      I can still feel the sprained ankle I got sledding down Suicide Hill back in 2014… that hill is fantastic, but not for rookies. My husband cracked a couple of ribs there the following year when he wasn’t even sledding – he was going to help our son back up, and some teens plowed into him and knocked him over…

      Good times 🙂

      • Josh says:

        Suicide Hill was insane today after school. The crowd was larger than I have ever seen there before. The only thing harder than a kid finding space to safely go down was for a parent to find space to safely watch! There was no way to socially distance. We left right away.

      • sudden_eyes says:

        I once followed my son down Suicide Hill on a saucer sled, somehow skidded left, and ended up with my foot caught in the temporary fence. It took a few kind strangers to free me – foot out of boot _ then yank out the still-stuck boot proved to be the winning strategy … Only a bit painful.

        The kid never got hurt, in dozens of runs. It’s a risky but joyful place!

    4. Dom says:

      Sleigh riding ruins the grass, which is why the lawns are officially closed for the winter. Respect the rules.