Winter has finally arrived here in the Midwest, and there is no better way to enjoy a good snowfall than to grab a sled and head outdoors for some old-time winter fun.
The history of sledding crosses continents and time as man found many practical uses for sleds, from hauling supplies across the Arctic to an army in 103 BC that used their shields as sleds to cross the Alps. But the Flexible Flyer sled in 1860 began a tradition that is still popular today as kids of all ages head to the nearest hill with their sturdy wooden sled with runners and patented steering.
And who can forget the iconic saucer sled Clark Griswold tore down the mountain in Christmas Vacation? However, we highly discourage using a lubricant to increase your speed!
Today there are many types of sleds available. Flexible flyers and disc sleds always remain popular with traditionalists. How many of us didn’t fly down a snowy hill on inflatable snow tube? With its cushiony feel, it absorbed impacts, and if you could hang on, you probably managed to get some good airtime while careening downhill. Plastic sleds are great for any age and often come with handles on the sides and in various colors and sizes.
Another sled with a long history is the Toboggan, a flat long wooden sled with a curved front, believed to be an invention of the Inuits. Tobogganing gained popularity in Canada in the 1800s and is enjoying a resurgence in The Cleveland Metroparks. The chutes are open with or without snow through February, weather permitting.
Wherever you live, when the snow starts flying, it’s time to dust off the old sled and head on out to the nearest sled-riding hill. Winter just won’t be the same without it. Let us know in the comments about your favorite sled riding memories and where is a good place to go sledding near where you live.