Five of Our Favorite Western Massachusetts Sledding Spots
Western Massachusetts is on its second significant snowfall of the season and winter is in full swing. Snowshoes, skis, and of course sleds are coming out of storage to get Massachusetts residents through these long winter months.
A beloved pastime by adults and children alike, sledding lets people of all ages take advantage of the snow that blankets Berkshire County, Massachusetts every year. It's family fun with the littles, adults build some jumps with friends who are kids at heart. All you need is a hill and a sled! Sleds are easy to find and relatively 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 getting "creative" with a cardboard box. Anything that gets you to the bottom.
So where are the best sledding spots in The Berkshires? We've got five fan favorites with locations throughout the county.
Located on the picturesque campus of the prestigious Williams College, The Taconic Golf Club has been home to numerous NCAA and national tournaments. Ranked one of the top golf collegiate golf courses 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 a sledding hill. 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 boasts a pretty steep grade, which sends riders catapulting toward 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, arguably 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 setup 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 hill 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 their go-to sledding spot was, every single person said MMRHS.