By Ron Cassie

With reporting by Sarah Bregel

Photography by Gregory McKay

Illustrations by Alicia Corman

Winter Wonderland

The Best Places to Go Sledding Around Baltimore

When flakes fall, there's a long tradition of sledding in the city. Here are the best hills to hit.

By Ron Cassie




The Fast And Flurrious

Recent winters have not delivered much snow, but when it does fall, there's a long tradition of sledding in the city.

It’s no secret in Baltimore that we have seen scant evidence of winter’s powdery white stuff over the past two sledding seasons. While long-range weather prognostication is a notoriously challenging enterprise, there is hope, however. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which has been in the precipitation prediction business since 1818, is projecting an above-normal snowfall this year.

According to the almanac, Maryland, including Baltimore, can expect two to three inches above monthly averages—with the snowiest periods coming in late December, late January, and mid-February. Also, look for both below-normal average temperatures and above-normal precipitation in Frederick County’s Appalachian range and further out in Western Maryland, if you’re a “have toboggan, will travel” type. (We’ll note, many of these destinations are also great places to walk your dog, should the frosty stuff fail to materialize.)

From steep slides to bunny hills, there’s no shortage of local rides to be had. Here are a few of the perennial favorites.

Photography by Gregory McKay


Head to the Hills

The Baltimore area does not get a lot of snow days off from school, but there are still fun hills to hit with the kids.

Baltimore County Board of Education Headquarters

6901 N. Charles St., Towson

What could be more appropriate on a snow day off from school than heading to the County’s Board of Education offices for a play date? Word to the wise (meaning parents): Watch out for the kid-spilling ditch at the bottom of the massive hill.

Baltimore Country Club

4712 Club Road

The golf course is a legendary sledding destination, but beware, the steep slope here is nicknamed “Suicide Hill” for a reason. No small number of newbies have taken tumbles here. As one Reddit commentor said, “[It] left me absolutely ravaged many a time as a kid”—words no doubt that frighten some and beckon more than a few.

The Dell at Wyman Park

2929 N. Charles St.

The cozy park tucked on 16 acres just below the Baltimore Museum of Art is a go-to for nearby Johns Hopkins students, who can just grab a sled, trash-can lid, or empty pizza box and go to town. Nearby Charles Village and Remington residents have been taking advantage of sledding at The Dell for at least a century.

Dumbarton Middle School

300 Dumbarton Road, Towson

There’s an awesome horseshoe-shaped hill behind the Rodgers Forge school, which descends into a large field for safe landings after a good run. Ridgely Middle School in Timonium is another Baltimore County go-to, and schools, of course, generally have the benefit of ample parking for SUVs toting sleds.

Federal Hill

300 Warren Ave.

An obvious destination, given its picturesque view overlooking the Inner Harbor, for sledding and building snowmen and snowwomen. The hills here are very steep, however. Just be careful not to zoom out onto Key Highway or into the back of the American Visionary Art Museum.

Herring Run Park

3800 Belair Road

The 375-acre northeast oasis may be the top spot in the city for the sheer size and the variety of hills to choose from. Conceived by the Olmstead Brothers more than a century ago, the stream valley park is also home to fox and deer, which you might just spot roaming about in their winter coats.

Leakin Park

1901 Eagle Drive

There’s a sweet slide behind the Crimean Mansion off Eagle Drive—also known today as Friends of Orianda House—which is accessible and also one of the best-kept sledding secrets inside city lines. Bonus: The Winans Meadow area is super scenic year-round, but especially so when it snows.

Oregon Ridge Park

13555 Beaver Dam Road., Cockeysville

It’s hard to beat an actual former downhill ski resort when it comes to toboggan runs. The elevation at this 1,043-acre park extends to approximately 600 feet, and the old ski trail remains a good place for snowboarders to get some practice after a hefty snowfall. Check Oregon Ridge’s cross-country ski trails, too.

Patterson Park

East Lombard Street

The most iconic sledding hill in Baltimore remains “Cannonball Hill,” behind the replica cannons atop Hampstead Hill, which slopes beautifully behind Patterson Park’s Observatory. There are other hills, too, including at the park’s eastern extension, pictured, where a popular descent sends sledders gliding down from South Ellwood Avenue toward the wide-open baseball and soccer fields below.

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