Top Five Berkshire County Sledding Locations
Soooo has anyone talked about anything besides winter lately? Yeah didn't think so. They are so many negatives about the weather this time of year, I'm trying to find positive things about Berkshire winter living. I was encouraged by an article The Berkshire Eagle recently published noting higher than expected attendance at local ski resorts in the midst of Winter Storm Grayson. While that's awesome to hear, not everyone knows how to ski, plus it can be expensive and there's only a hand full of near by ski resorts. So what's the next best thing to skiing, that's accessible to basically everyone? You guessed it, SLEDDING!
A beloved pastime by adults and children alike, people of all ages can take advantage of the white stuff that blankets The Berkshires every year. Family fun with the littles, or grab some adult bevy's and build some jumps with your friends who are kids at heart. All you need is a hill, and a sled! Hills of all different sizes are abundant. Sleds are pretty inexpensive, especially if you can grab one on end of winter clearance. And hey, there's nothing wrong with a greased up sheet pan, or get real gully with a cardboard box. Anything that gets you to the bottom.
That got me thinking, where are the best sledding spots in The Berks? I spoke to a few friends and compiled a list combing my favorite spots from being a life long resident of the area, as well as recommendations from friends.
Drum roll please....In no particular order, I present to you
EPIC SLEDDING HILLS OF THE BERKSHIRES
Located on the picturesque campus of prestigious Williams College, The Taconic Golf club has been home to numerous NCAA and national tournaments, ranked one of the top golf collegiate golf course in the country, as well as the number one most scenic in the state by The Boston Globe, Taconic boosts amazing golf, but it also has one hell of sledding hill. I have such fun childhood memories of my brother and I exhausting ourselves with hours of sledding, and (what seemed like a the time) a few brushes with death. The massive hill sends you from the fairway of the ninth hole, flying towards Route 43 (don't worry there's a fence) at a good clip. Large enough to be busy, but never crowded, it's a local favorite in North County, and my top pick.
Located on the west side of the city, Clapp park has recently seen some upgrades, including a new scoreboard and the upcoming splash pad and updated basketball courts. One thing that will never change at Clapp, the sledding hill. A favorite of runners and exercise enthusiasts during the warmer months, the hill boosts a pretty steep grade, which sends riders catapulting towards the park's track. Back in the day there was rope tow, which unfortunately is no longer, but there are always a few sweet jumps, and plenty of parking on the backside of the park. It's the first place that comes to my mind when people ask for a sledding recommendation in Pittsfield.
Upper North Street in Pittsfield is home to one of the city's two middle schools, Reid. Set back from the road and situated on the northwest corner of Springside Park, a GIANT sledding hill and valley separates the school from the road. You can get a whole day of outdoor winter fun, as Springside is home to some great dog friendly walking trails as well. While the hill isn't AS steep as some of the others on the list, it's a HAUL for sledders back to the top, because it's LONG, arguable the most distance on the list. If you're looking for some distance over speed (don't get me wrong, you still cruise) the hill on the front of Reid is the way to go.
A hidden gem located off of West Housatonic Street, the sledding hill at Osceola Park is a favorite of west side residents. Tucked in a highly populated neighborhood, the land sits between Osceola and Essex Streets with a small parking lot located on Gale Ave. The hill is the smallest on my list, which can be challenging on a busy day, but the redeeming quality of Osceola...it has a working rope tow! Great for youngsters that get tired easily, or lazy adults like myself, the added bonus of having a hand up the hill can really extend the length of your outing. The city is actually currently looking for rope tow operators, click here for more info.
The south county high school sits right on Stockbridge Road and has a similar set up to Reid Middle School with a giant hill and valley separating the building from the highly traveled road, making it safe for even the most adventurous rambling child. The hills is HUGE in width and length, and gives south county residents a great sledding venue, with plenty of room for building jumps and snowmen alike. While I personally haven't taken a run, when I asked my SoCo friends where the go to sledding spot was, every single person said MMRHS.