No matter where you grew up, as long as it was in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you traversed more than one hill over and over again in order to hop on your sled, and enjoy the thrill of whizzing down the hill. You will recall going home exhausted with wet snow pants, soggy socks, rosy cheeks and a smile on your face.
Tobogganing is a quintessential wintertime activity that everyone in the family can enjoy. Thankfully we live among the varied terrain beneath the Niagara Escarpment, and there are lots of nearby hills to access.
Old Abbey Lane Park
Three hills beside Abbey Lane Public School
Location: Glen Abbey, 1110 Old Abbey Lane
Oxford Avenue & Upper Middle Road
A gentle hill that’s ideal for younger kids, easy to walk up.
Location: Southeast corner
Bronte Creek Provincial Park
This huge hill has two sides and is perfect for all ages. Weather permitting, bring your skates for a lap or two around the outdoor skating rink. Purchase of a day pass is required to access the hill.
Location: 1219 Burloak Drive
Kids have been sledding here for many years, enjoying the scenery and the lakeshore of this private school.
Location: 540 Lakeshore Road West
Upper Middle Road & Headon Road
Passers-by in wintertime witness lots of families on this popular hill, ideal for small children and their parents.
Location: Upper Middle Road
A small hill great for a quick bit of outdoor play for toddlers and preschoolers.
Location: Waterfront Trail
A wide hill with a variety of slopes ranging from easy-going to steep.
Location: 6207 Guelph Line
Bolus Gardens Hill
A wide hill with a steep incline and lots of room at the base.
Location: 930-978 Francis Road
Orchard Park Public School
An ample-sized hill where lots of neighbourhood families gather for a fun afternoon sledding.
Location: 5151 Dryden Avenue
Sixteen Mile Creek (At Commercial and Laurier)
Park at Rad Brothers at the corner of Derry Road and Ontario Street, then head for the hills.
Location: 585 Derry Road West
Glen Eden Tubing Park
Hop on the lift and get pulled to the top, zip down and do it all over again. Admission charges apply.
Location: 5234 Kelso Road
Tips for Winter Fun Outdoors:
Eyes on the Almanac
Check out the weather conditions before heading outside
Dress for the day
Dress in layers, wear proper mittens or gloves (as long as they’re warm enough and they can make good snowballs). A good hat is essential. Ski masks are also great to keep extra toasty for windy days. Thick socks are also important to keep feet warm. Switch summer socks for thick winter ones to keep feet extra warm.
Kids will look forward to a snack and a hot drink after an afternoon outdoors. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate with you to enjoy on the hill; visit your favourite coffee shop on the way home or head to your kitchen and make a batch of hot drinks for the family. Pour it into your favourite mugs, add some mix-ins (Bailey’s for you, whipped cream or marshmallows for the kids), put on the fireplace and relax.
By Becky Dumais
City of Burlington