The biggest snow storm of the year is headed our way! We might get dumped with 4 – 8 inches. What you gonna do? How about pour some hot cocoa and head out with the family to some of our areas greatest sledding hills. Sure there are hills all around us, but there are others you won’t forget. Here is our list of the best sledding locations around Dayton, Ohio. This is the most accurate sledding list around, it’s not even close.
*Click on any image below to see a full page sized slideshow.
Anyone from Kettering, Oakwood, Centerville and beyond know that Suicide Hill is the top sledding place to go in South Dayton. The big hill (Suicide Hill) is treacherous, and its steep and bumpy if you pick the inside angle, your sure to catch air. Plus, it has a cool name. Everything an adventurous kid would want in a sledding hill. Right next to the steep run is a wider, more family friendly run, with a gentler and less elevated slope for the younger kids. This is just a beautiful place to sled and the locals go here because they know it’s special. Don’t let the images fool you, this hill is much bigger and steeper than it looks. No matter how I tried to frame this shot, I just couldn’t show its true size. In fact, impressive came to my mind. The top of this hill is the steepest hill on our list, and takes our top spot.
* Warning: The big hill can be dangerous, broken bones can happen here. Don’t be stupid and try standing on your sled or try going down on a snowboard, or getting a running start. Sit or lay on your sled and play with caution and you should be OK. You have been warned.
Parking: Hills & Dales MetroPark (Dogwood Pond Pavilion) – S. Patterson Blvd & Park Rd in Kettering, Ohio. Behind Community Golf Course.
Want to get away? Road Trip! Head on down to Hueston Woods State Park, where you will find one of the best (if not the best) sledding hill around. This hill is located in the Hedgerow Picnic area, overlooking the covered bridge. This is the longest, steepest combination hill you will find. Suicide hill is steeper at the top portion, but not as long or wide. I estimate this to be approximately 250 – 300 yards long, with a very fast grade, the lower half is even faster! Only Wright Brothers Hill has runs as close to this in length, but this hill has a nice grade all the way down. Probably won’t get more speed than this hill since the run is so long and very fast near the bottom.
The negative: Its an hour drive on back country roads. If the weather is bad or the wind is blowing snow across the roads, forget it. I visited the next day after the big storm and the roads were very clear (even more than Dayton). It also takes forever to walk back up each time, and it’s really out in the country. Although that is also part of the charm here, this place is awesome!
While you are here, you can also visit the cool covered bridge which is right across the street. The trip is approximately an hour from Dayton with clear roads. Lots of background roads required for this trek, but we think it’s well worth the trip if you are looking to get away with your friends, try something new, or try the biggest hill around. If you visit, you will never forget this place!
Englewood Metro Park offers steep run sledding directly down the sides of the dam. When I visited this place, it was cold (0°) and in the morning, not much sledding going on till later. As far as grade, this place gives Suicide Hill a run for its money. Once you park you have options, so many options. It has the steepest runs we have seen, with a few speed bumps. And there is space for days! The most space of any Sledding Hill we have ever seen. You could bring an entire school and each have your own personal run. This place is arguably the best sledding in Dayton, it is worth the drive if you live South.
The only reason, I am not ranking it number one or two is, it’s a dam, and this fact stares you right in the face. Plus, all the runs are the same exact grade (no diversity). Does a kid care? No, they want steep, and this place has steep written all over it.
North Dam Hill: The North Dam is right in front of the parking lot. Very close walk, the easiest access.
South Dam Hill: To access the South Dam, cross W National Rd, and there is a gate on the right about 100 ft. You can see it from the parking lot. Go around the gate, and you can walk down and over to the runs. South Dam has a tad more walking to get too (not much) but its worth the walk, because it seems as if the runs are longer plus there is just much more to look at while you are sledding.
*Don’t bother driving down to Aullwood Gardens River Access area, the gate is closed, there is very limited parking outside the gate, and the hike is just too far. You can just access the hill much more easily from the top of the South Dam.
What makes a great sledding hill? Long, fast runs and a few surprises as you head down the hill. Wright Brothers Hill has all of this and multiple terrains. This is one of the most popular spots in North Dayton to sled, the views are spectacular! The top of the hill is steeper and it flattens out as you go down the hill, you can have really long run times. Except for Hueston Woods, this has the longest sledding runs near Dayton. Plus its wide, there are like 150 yards wide and around 4 – 6 different routes, each offers a different and diverse ride. There are a few hazards like large mature trees at the top of the run, but out of the way. Nothing to worry about if you don’t get stupid. Parking lot is good, you have to walk just a little to get to the hill.
There is nothing scary here, but you can get great speed and air. One of the runs has a big ditch to jump. Due to the diversity of terrain, length of runs, and view, I had a really hard time putting this spot as #4 on my list. It’s that good. The only reason why the others beat out this place is because, while it has some steepness on the top it flattens out pretty quickly further down. It’s just not as steep or scary as Suicide Hill or Englewood Dam but it’s an awesome long ride. It’s pretty close to Hueston Woods minus grade and some length. Don’t discredit this place because it’s not #1 on my list, this is a fantastic place to sled! It was a pleasure to visit this Sledding Hill.
Not too big, not too small, not too steep or too flat, but everything is just about right. That sums up the hill at Germantown MetroPark which is a fine sledding hill. I was impressed with this place, it’s almost the perfect length of 100 -125 yards long (not too long or too short), has a really fast grade but not dangerous, and is a dedicated sledding hill. Which means it has good amenities like a Porta Potty and a dedicated return lane. It looks like this place gets heavy usage, so the powder packs better for increased speed. If you choose the left lane, there are a few moguls which could produce some air time.
It’s hard to complain about a hill as good as this. Yet, I think I would prefer to visit Hueston Woods, Suicide Hill or Wright Brothers Hill. Just my preference after visiting all of these places back-to-back. Does that really matter? Probably not. Nitpick aside, any sledder would love to play on this hill, it’s worth the drive. This is a first class sledding hill!
Behind the pond and community pool is a large hill, that is often used in summer as a part of disc golf course. In winter, it’s the hottest spot in Kettering to sled or tube. There are multiple paths on different sides of this large hill (Depending upon amount of snowfall). It isn’t as beautiful as Suicide Hill, and lacks some of the steep grade and distance offered at the other locations ranked above, but it is a great hill and offers up a great sledding time. There is no other hill that you can choose to go down any side (given the amount of snowfall). That’s pretty cool. Since it’s one of the most popular spots in Kettering (if not the most popular), it offers a bit more of the community feel. This is a fun place to sled, the fact I have it ranked #6 shows how many sledding options we have in Dayton.
We could have put Taylorsville MetroPark higher on this list, it’s a nice place with long runs and offers plenty of sledding fun for the entire family. The hill is long and there is a nice barrier at the end to protect sledders from overshooting into the lake.
What makes West Park Hill exceptional is the amenities. There is a large clear parking lot, a covered pavilion with picnic tables and built-in seating that faces the hill. The park also offers a large Porta Potty, bales of hay, and a safety return lane so you don’t have to worry about getting plowed over as you make your way back up the hill. Parents can sit in the Pavilion and keep an eye on their kids the entire run. It almost seems like a paid sledding hill. Not one other hill except Germantown MetroPark has a bathroom and safety return lane, never mind a pavilion and seats overlooking the hill (except Triangle Park).
My only issue with this sledding/tubing hill is the lack of grade. This is not a hill that produces great speed or makes your heart drop into your stomach; it is more a place to bring smaller children. Long runs and you can have plenty of fun here, just not ideal for the bigger kids seeking thrills. Nice place to have fun for anyone, but ideal for smaller children, older adults, and group hookup tubing or sledding.
Centerville has a fine sledding hill located at Stubbs Park. The hill is located inside an amphitheater so it’s a partial bowl, flowing down toward the stage. It has a really nice grade and offers a fairly long run of about 125 – 150 yards to the bottom. There are many other small runs off the back of this bowl as well. This is a great place to sled for people of all ages.
This Amphitheater produces a wonderful sledding location. No other local city managed park, has anywhere near this great of a sledding location. They are all MetroPark or State Parks likely with larger operating budgets. The fact that this place ranks #8 on our list, is just another testament as to the great sledding hills we have at our disposal. If you live near Centerville you have to check it out, it’s special, if not superb!
Triangle Park has the biggest neighborhood sledding hill (except Centerville). Not only is it a fun hill to ride, but it also offers a large pavilion with picnic tables and overlooks Howell Field and the Dayton skyline. Nice hill to sled.
Bomberger Park looks like a really small sledding hill, until you walk up to it. Then you can see, its is just a bit bigger than it looks from the street. No, it’s not a big hill like those above this or as large as Triangle Park’s Hill, but its big enough to offer thrills and a great time. It offer a zippy little sled ride. Lots of people on social media talk about sledding here, I can see why there is nostalgia. It’s part of Dayton’s history and just being here, it has a historic feel.
Live close to Belmont Park? There are short steep runs right off the parking lot (38 steps to be exact or about 50ft in length), but if you are willing to hike, into the park there are bigger hills and longer runs which offer more excitement. It’s enough to get your sledding fix should you visit, just plan on making lots of trips back up the hill. I wouldn’t drive here when I could just go to Suicide Hill or Kettering Rec Center, but I would walk here if I lived nearby and/or was without transportation.
Do not drive to Yellow Springs expecting good sledding at John Bryan park. During my visit, the only things I found was deep snow and almost got stuck driving past the picnic area and toward observatory.
There is some sledding that can be done in the Campground (on the right as you drive in) but it’s limited. Just like the picnic area, there are too many trees in the way. There is one short run in the campground but its not much to talk about. Unless you live nearby, don’t waste your time.
If you have different advice as to a better location and/or longer runs for better sledding, please let us know. Perhaps I somehow missed the spot.
These are the best sledding spots in the Miami Valley. If that’s not enough for you, check out ALL the parks that offer sledding/tubing hills, by clicking the button below. See you on one of these hills!