Although it is not as old as skiing or other winter activities, snow tubing and sledding have exploded in popularity all over New Hampshire. Sledding/tubing is inexpensive, requires no skill and is extremely fun! Snow tubing venues vary across the state so it is important to do some research to pick the right hill, mountain or resort for you. Some offer very straight, high-speed trails, while some have curved, less speedy runs. Most resorts offer a tubing lift that minimizes the amount of time and effort to get back up on top of the hill. If you are looking for breathless excitement while plunging down a frosty New Hampshire mountain than this is the thrill for you!
Facts about sledding you should know beforehand:
Sledding and tubing are both very fun but they pose their own dangers. Supervised tubing is typically safer than finding a hill on your own as moderators are able to check for icy patches, jumps and other variables that can impact your trip down the hill. Furthermore, as snow melts and refreezes, those ice patches can become particularly dangerous for those that ride sleds with metal runners. Bear in mind that the steeper the hill, the faster you will go toward the bottom. Always make sure that there is ample space to slow down at the bottom before making the plunge from the top.
What is the difference between sledding and snow tubing?
Sledding uses a toboggan, sled with runners or other plastic/wood apparatus specifically designed to go downhill in a straight line. Sleds can achieve very high speeds but can be more dangerous than snow tubes. Snow tubes are round “donut” shaped inner tubes with a slight depression in the center for seating. They don’t have the sharper points and rigid edges that sleds have and are a more popular choice at New Hampshire ski resorts.
What do I need?
You can either bring your own sled to certain designated sledding areas in New Hampshire, or you can go to a resort that has tubing areas and rent one. It is highly advised at these resorts that you also purchase a lift ticket to save time and to avoid total exhaustion.
This sounds awesome! Where can I go tubing or sledding in New Hampshire?
For snow tubing, here is a list of New Hampshire resorts that offer exceptional downhill runs:
Bretton Woods, Bretton Woods
Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway
Granite Gorge, Keene
Great Glen Trails, Pinkham Notch
Gunstock Mountain Resort, Gilford
Jackson XC, Jackson
King Pine at Purity Spring Resort, East Madison
Loon Mountain, Lincoln
McIntyre Ski Area, Manchester
Pats Peak, Henniker
Ragged Mountain, Danbury
Waterville Valley, Waterville Valley
For information regarding hourly rates, days of operation and other details, please visit this page: Sledding and Tubing information
Also, you can always rent or buy your own sled/tube and find a hill in a state park or other open public area. A well-kept local secret in Durham, New Hampshire is Wagon Hill. University of New Hampshire students flock this free, snow-covered hill on snow days throughout the winter season. Here is a link with more information:
After you are done tubing or sledding, you can always check out some prime New Hampshire shopping scenes to grab some gear and refuel. Here are some great links to get peak your interest:
Is sledding and tubing safe for small children?
Yes, but it is advised that they are always supervised. Furthermore, you should make sure that the hill is not too steep or full of ice patches before sledding. It should be noted that this activity is safe for young children, but not toddlers or babies.
What is the cost?
Some sledding areas in parks around New Hampshire are entirely free! Tubing rates vary at larger ski resort around the state. Typically, they either charge one flat fee for tube rentals and another for the chair lift. Additionally, some resorts such as Loon Mountain have an hourly rate instead.