The white, drowning, ice-slicked snow of yet another winter storm is upon us, dear snowbound families, and with the ‘lil tikes all home from school, there’s not a better time for some winter fun (plus, it gets them back out of the house for at least a few hours!).
Now we have a big family. Way too big to list them all here, especially if that count was to include all our lovable critters, too. And while not all of them love the outdoors (Misses Wooster sure doesn’t!), those who do sure do enjoy it when it snows.
We love having snowball fights, making igloos, snow angels, snowmen, Snow Yeti and of course, we all love sledding! Sometimes, when all the sleds and sleighs and swimming pool tubes and inflatable rafts are used up, Chewbacca and I break out the garbage can lids and once or twice we even got away with those cafeteria food trays Big Johnny packed into our neighbor’s garage. But I will resoundingly attest that it’s always the best to use an official sled or tube, not only because they are probably not covered in last Tuesday’s lunchroom onion-cheese-garlic meatloaf special!
Alas, here are some of the Chin family’s choice sledding spots and experiences across Long Island–oh, and stay off the slopes near the parkways! Please, it is dangerous and just not worth the possibility of getting hurt for a 30-second thrill ride down the mountain! And as I repeatedly tell Big Johnny–stay out of the sumps! Those hills are dangerous and full of trash! You do not know what danger lurks beneath the ice! The sewers empty here! There could be sharp rocks!
Bethpage State Park
Everyone from my cousin Big Eddie to even Tiger Woods know that this is a wonderful spot to go sledding. The terrain is hilly and winding. The fields are wide and open. And if you can make it to Bethpage Black, well that is really something else, though be warned that all of these slopes and hills can be very dangerous and the steepest should not be attempted unless under the strictest supervision and in permitted areas. “Stick to the smaller slopes,” as my Aunt Bethany used to say. “Stick to the smaller slopes. Take your time. Enjoy the ride. Better to be safe than sorry.” Wise words from a very wise woman. Indeed.
Cedar Creek Park, Wantagh
Yes yes yes, oh yes, this precious gem off Merrick Road on the border of Wantagh and Seaford that is a truly great go-to barbecue and picnic spot in the summer is truly an equally great go-to spot for sledding during these cold, wintery months. Yes, there is a sewage plant somewhere here in the park (and also a dog park, which myself and all our ‘lil ones love!), but also yes, there are some really great hills. And yes, there is some truly great fun to be had in those hills!
Heckscher State Park, Huntington
This is a very large park wih many different sledding and snowman-making spots to enjoy. The reason we like this park so much is not only because of the slopes and hills and open fields, however, but because every once and a while, if you are truly lucky, you may see the furry inhabitants of its woods. Yes, yes, yes, I am talking about the deer! Oh the little ones enjoy it so! This park also brings another special winter treat: lots and lots of smiles!
Eisenhower Park, East Meadow
We always wave hello to the statue of Gen. Eisenhower as we enter the park, and we always enjoy our time here (except for one time but that is for another blog entry). You will want to scout the park for the best hill, but be assured that many exist here. Ask your fellow sledders to point you in the direction of Old Sled Hill. The last time we ventured here it was snowing so severe I became disoriented and can not recall how to find that great peak. Warning: Stay away from the lake! Those hills are maybe the best in the park but it is Way Too Dangerous to sled near the lake! stick to the open fields and their gradual slopes and you will have much fun.
Bald Hill, Farmingville
‘Nuff said, dear sledders. ‘Nuff said. Though this is not officially the highest point on Long Island (that would be Jayne’s Hill, in Huntington, where ye old bard Walt Whitman used to wander), it is close. And very high. Every major snowstorm, families from all across the Island flock to its slopes for winter magic fun. I will warn once again that you should be careful when sliding along the snowy hills and only do so with friends and family in case you get hurt so you are not alone.
Belmont Lake State Park, West Babylon
There are some great sledding hills in this sprawling, historical park but I will remind you to stay to the open fields an hills and stay away from any slopes near the water. Just too dangerous!
Washington Avenue Park, Seaford
This is the Chin Family Favorite Sledding Spot! We have had so much fun here, so many times, year after year after year I can not even list them all here. The baseball pit is truly immense and therefore the hills are steep, which makes for a great ride for the kids and tons and tons of fun! The parking lot is not as big, however, and so sometimes you must park along the street, which is not always as easy when the snow plows have not cleared the road that well (or sometimes it is still tough when they do, becasue they pile up all the snow into big mounds of ice!). Yes, yes, there are many, many other great sledding spots across Long Island, but it is getting late right now and we want to get out and hit the slopes! “You should only go sledding during the day,” as Aunt Bethany used to say. “You should never go sledding at night!” Perhaps there will be another blog post about other great spots in the future, dear sledders. Perhaps. Regardless, this is our favorite spot.
For some important safety tips (which will be the subject of another blog post), CLICK HERE. Always remember: Be safe out there! And have fun!
Add your favorite sledding and sleighing spots in the comment section below: