Bundle up, gang. Winter in Pittsburgh is no joke.
After hours of shoveling and setting up your parking chair just right, it’s time to head inside and hibernate.
But don’t put on the hot chocolate just yet, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Because Pittsburgh has been blessed (or cursed) with hills, hills, and more hills. Which is all the more reason to channel your inner kid and have an epic sledding adventure.
So bust out those saucers, sleds, and sleighs, and take to the best sledding hill in Pittsburgh.
Flagstaff Hill is a Pittsburgh favorite for all thing snow. Sledding, snowball fights, tobogganing…you name it, it’s happening when the snow falls on Flagstaff Hill. This sledding spot is right next to Phipps Conservatory on the Oakland side of Schenley Park. It’s a huge space with a gently sloping hill that provides for a lengthy ride from top to bottom. And that means more riding, less hiking!
In the summer, Frick Park is perfect for running and biking. It’s huge! It’s not surprising that there are some wicked slopes amongst the 644 acres. But you don’t need to trudge through the tundra to find them, because we know where they are. You’re in for one heck of a ride if you climb Cowboy Hill near the bowling greens on Reynolds Street or take a trip to Blue Slide Park at Beechwood Blvd (beware of the Beechwood trees!).
Sure, Pitt and Duquesne get all the attention whenever urban Pittsburgh universities come up. But as far as campuses go, Chatham’s is beautiful. What’s even more beautiful is their picturesque green slope rolling down from the Chatham Memorial Chapel. Though come snowfall, Chapel Hill transforms its green beauty to snow-white thrill. It’s possibly the most underrated and least known about sled hill in Pittsburgh. After a fresh snowfall, call up your friends and prepare to fly down this wide-open slope.
Amongst all the sledding hills in the Pittsburgh region, South Park’s Sunny Slopes spot is king. There, you’ll have 3 hills to choose from that all converge to meet at the bottom. The many possibilities, paths, and trajectories mean that no run you take here will be the same. It’s a sled rider’s dream. The longest run here is close to 1,000 ft. long, so know that you’ll be taking a long hike once you get to the bottom. It’s quite the workout, but hey – go big or go home!
This East End neighborhood has a lot to offer. It’s home to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, a couple of reservoirs, and a pool. But when the summer sun sets, the fun isn’t over. The sprawling terrain of Highland Park is really hilly! Bring your sled and hold on tight as you brave “Seven Bumps” off of Lake Drive. Or saddle up on the well-manicured gardens of the King Estate at 5501 Elgin Street. Both hills are easily accessible and making for one heck of a good time.
Sledding Dormont Park is a tale of two slopes. Because when you sled on the hill tucked behind the massive Dormont Pool, you’ll come away with two different stories depending on which path you choose. If you choose right, you’ll hit an easy, kid-friendly grade. Choose left, and you’ll be pulling a Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation. Grip your sled (or sled buddy) tight, because you’ll be moving down that hill in a hurry.
Near the corner of Fifth and Shady Avenue in Shadyside, you’ll find Phipps Garden Center. You’ll also notice the large stretch of land that shoots down towards Fifth Avenue. This is just a small taste of what Mellon Park has to offer between the walled gardens and public art displays, yet it’s the reason why you’re here. Because you’ve got sled in hand and winter fun on your mind. This gently sloping hill is great for little kids and “big kids” alike, just watch out for few trees that live in the area.
There are two parks near Wexford that are definitely worth the trip up to the hilly terrain north of Pittsburgh. Blueberry Hill Park is one sweet ride. It’s just off I-79 and I-279 North and, once in the park, signs will point you directly to a designated sledding hill. It’s been a favorite amongst children in the North Hills for years. If the day’s not over, head a few minutes northward to Knob Hill Park. It’s a prime spot for family fun with easy sledding hills of its own.
FYI: While crazy fun, sledding can be seriously dangerous. Be safe out there!
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