Sliding into winter

Huron Hills is students’ favorite sledding spot by an avalanche

Leo Applegate '23, Sports Editor

As the saying goes, in Michigan, only two seasons are certain: construction and winter. With winter comes a fresh unofficial sport – sledding. Fortunately, Ann Arbor’s hilly landscape provides the creation of sledding spots. What was once only a hill or valley in the spring or summer months may be transformed into a place in the winter where people of all ages can enjoy the snowy descent provided. 

Out of a poll of 50 students, Huron Hills was the most popular location for sledding. Veteran’s Memorial Park was the second most preferred, with Barton Hills as the third. An “other” option tied with students’ own house or yard for fourth, and Burns Park was the fifth most chosen.

The first, most popular location lies just six minutes away from Greenhills. Although being one of Ann Arbor’s most popular golf courses in the summer, Huron Hills attracts people of all ages once the snow begins to fall. 

Under the right conditions, its lengthy, sloping hills provide the perfect opportunity for students to enjoy sledding with friends or family. 

“I like it [Huron Hills] for a lot of reasons,” said Ismael Metwally ‘23. “It’s super close to my house, so I don’t have to worry about driving with all of my coats and stuff to go sledding. It’s also really big, so even if there are a lot of people, I don’t have to worry about it being crowded or anything.”

Huron Hills has not been without fault, however, as Metwally recalls many incidents at this spot.

“One time when I was a kid, I was sledding with my older brother, Yaseen, and some kid stole my sled,” said Metwally. “I tried to chase after him but he was too fast; I ended up slipping on ice and tumbling down the hill. That wasn’t a very fun experience but it’s been nice outside of that.”

Although Huron Hills is popular, some students prefer a smaller, more enclosed environment like Barton Hills. 

“Barton Hills has to be my personal favorite, even though I don’t go very often,” said Yoel Bechar ‘24. “It’s a pretty far walk from where you have to park to get there, so there usually aren’t very many people. I also went there [Barton] last year with the swim team, and it was a really great experience.”

On top of its exclusiveness, Barton Hills also supplies steep slopes- a much-wanted feature of any sledding spot. 

 “When the snow gets packed down a lot, the hills are steep enough that you can really go fast,” said Bechar. “There have been some times where I’ve found myself flying off of my sled.”

On the west side of Ann Arbor is Veteran’s Memorial Park, a popular spot that also holds the thrills that steep hills provide.

Veteran’s Memorial Park, more commonly known as just “Vets,” serves many other purposes besides sledding. In the summer, Vets supplies both a pool with a water slide and multiple baseball diamonds where various Little League teams play. 

In the winter, however, the park officially closes the pool and diamonds and opens its ice rink. With this change comes the unofficial opening of the area behind it –  a massive hill that serves the sole purpose of sledding.

20 percent of students polled enjoy visiting Vets Park the most, the second highest out of the results, 8 percent more than Barton Hills’ 12 percent, but 10 percent less than Huron Hills’ 30 percent. 

Students like going to local locations to sled, such as those in the Burns Park neighborhood in central Ann Arbor. 

“I may be a little biased because I went to Burns Park for elementary school, but I love sledding there,” said Elina Palapattu ‘23. “Burns park has a lot of great hills and I always see people I know when I go there. It’s also right near my house so if the roads are bad and it’s dangerous to drive, then I can just walk there.”