Now that the landscape in the Kenosha area finally looks like January — with a healthy covering of snow blanketing everything — it’s time to get outside and enjoy our winter wonderland.
A great way to do that is to go sliding down sledding hills throughout Kenosha County. And why not? There’s no admission fee or fancy equipment needed.
That’s what’s so great about sledding: You climb up a hill and slide down. Then repeat several times.
Here’s your Downhill Guide to Kenosha County:
City of Kenosha
WASHINGTON PARK, 1821 Washington Road
Features: A wide, gently sloping hill. A fence keeps sleds — and their riders — off the bike-racing track.
Hazards: Be careful crossing the streets around the hill. This is a busy area.
Best feature: You can choose your favorite spot in this hilly park.
Lights: It’s well-lit and is popular for night-time sledding.
Getting there: It is on Washington Road (Highway S), just east of 22nd Avenue.
Parking: There’s plenty of parking in the lot off 22nd Avenue and on streets across from the hill on Washington Road.
JUST NORTH OF ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH, off of 30th Avenue at 21st Street
Features: A wide, sloping hill that allows sledders to gain enough speed for a good ride.
Hazards: There’s nothing to hit, except other sledders. Be careful in the parking lot, however; it’s a tight squeeze and isn’t always plowed.
Best feature: You park at the top of the hill and can sled just a few feet from your car. There’s no long hike to the hill — or a long, cold walk back to the car. Also, it’s perfect for folks living in the surrounding neighborhood, with no driving required.
Getting there: The hill is located on the west side of 30th Avenue at about 21st Street. You’ll see a (small) sign at the end of the long drive saying “Sledding Hill Open Until 10 p.m.”
Parking: There’s plenty of parking right at the top of the hill.
LINCOLN PARK, 7010 22nd Ave.
Features: This is a “bunny hill” — with a very gentle slope — for young sledders.
Best feature: You can go up and down several times very quickly.
Getting there: Lincoln Park is located at 22nd Avenue and 68th Street. You can reach it easily off of 75th Street (Highway 50) or 60th Street (Highway K).
Parking: There’s parking in the park or on the street.
ALFORD PARK, 2901 Alford Drive
Features: This is a great place to sled. There’s a wide hill with nothing to hit and it’s steep enough to offer a thrilling ride.
Best feature: Great speed and a gorgeous view of Carthage College and the lakefront.
Lights: There’s a big light at the top of the hill.
Getting there: The park is located just off Sheridan Road (Highway 32) as it winds along the lakefront and past Carthage College.
Parking: Available at the park.
PETRIFYING SPRINGS PARK, 4909 Seventh St. in Somers
Features: This is the “Mount Olympus” of sledding hills in Kenosha County. There’s a big, steep hill that offers a long, fast ride to the bottom.
Hazards: There are plenty of trees around the hill, but your biggest danger is hitting another sled when it’s crowded. Be careful!
Best feature: The main hill offers a long ride to the bottom, plus there are some smaller side hills for people who don’t want to tackle the main hill (or the long walk to the top of it).
Lights: There’s a big light at the top of the hill, making this a popular night-time sledding stop.
Getting there: “Pets” is just east of Green Bay Road (Highway 31), heading north off of Highway E. Inside the park, follow the signs to the golf course.
Parking: Plenty of spaces in the park. It’s quite a long hike from the parking lot to the sledding hill.
INGRAM PARK, 5724 93rd St.
Features: This sledding hill in Pleasant Prairie features one steep, narrow hill.
Hazards: None. It’s a clear shot to the bottom.
Best feature: A dog park — with separate areas for large and small dogs — is next to the sledding hill, offering Fido a chance for recreation, too.
Getting there: The park is located on 93rd Street, west of 39th Avenue. (Look for the park sign, on the north side of the street.)
Parking: A big lot is available next to the sledding hill — and the dog park.
PADDOCK LAKE NEAR CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH, 24929 75th St. (Highway 50)
Features: A big, wide hill that offers a short, fast ride to the bottom.
Hazards: There are soccer nets from Central High School next door, so be careful out there.
Best feature: It’s steep, offering a short, fast ride. And the parking lot is right there on top of the hill.
Getting there: Take Highway 50 into Paddock Lake. The sledding hill is located next to the church (on the south side of Highway 50 if you’re heading west). It’s just east of Highway 83.
Parking: Available at the top of the hill in the church parking lot.
SILVER LAKE PARK, 27000 85th St.
Features: It’s a wide, wide, wide — WIDE — hill with a gentle slope. There’s an open-air shelter on top of the hill.
Hazards: There are trees, playground equipment and the occasional cross-country skier to avoid.
Best feature: It’s a fairly slow ride to the bottom — perfect for folks who like their sledding at a kinder, gentler pace, or kids (and adults) who are trying out their new snowboards and need time to find their balance. Also, groups can gather in the shelter and roast hot dogs and marshmallows when they’re tired of all that sledding action.
Getting there: The park is located off of Highway 50. Turn south on Highway F. The sledding area is up the hill, east of the park entrance.
Parking: There is a parking lot next to the hill.
FOX RIVER PARK, at the intersection of highways F and W in Silver Lake.
Features: A hard-packed, banked sledding “chute” offers a fast ride down the hill. Snowboarders like this hill, too. There are also cross-country skiing trails in the park.
Hazards: None; it’s a clear shot to the bottom.
Lights: There’s a light at the top of the hill. You can sled until 10 p.m.
Best feature: That hard-packed chute offers one wild ride — the closest thing to tubing without an admission fee. Or, you can sled down the other side of the hill, for a slower trip.
Getting there: The park is just south of Silver Lake.
Parking: Available next to the hill.
BONG STATE RECREATION AREA, 26313 Burlington Road in Brighton.
Features: This is a short, gently sloping hill.
Best feature: Being in Bong is a good excuse to not only go sledding but also to take a hike or go cross-country skiing — though the trails are not groomed for skiing. (Also, there are indoor restrooms at the visitors center just a short drive from the sledding hill, which sure beats a frozen porta-potty.)
Getting there: Bong is located on Highway 142, with the entrance about a mile west of Highway 75. To find the sledding hill, turn left at the visitors center.
The hill is about a mile down the road and is marked by a railing and a few steps to the top.
Parking: Available in a lot down the road.
Warning: While sledding is technically a free sport, you do need a vehicle admission sticker to get into Bong. The 2019 cost for a Wisconsin resident is $8 for a daily pass and $28 for an annual pass ($3 daily, $13 annual for senior citizens, age 65 and older), good at all Wisconsin state parks and forests.
If you’re just looking for a place to go sledding, it’s probably not worth it unless you have an annual pass.
WEST SIDE PARK, at Spiegelhoff and Musial roads in Twin Lakes.
Features: This is a small hill, with a fairly steep slope.
Hazards: There are trees on each side of the hill.
Best feature: It’s a quick ride down and a fast walk back to the top.
Getting there: It’s just to the west of Lake Elizabeth and southwest of the village. Take Highway 50 west to Highway O. Turn left (south) on O. When Highway O dead-ends, you have to take a left, then a right about a block down to get back on O (it takes a jog back into the village). Turn left (southwest) onto O. Follow Highway O down past where Highway P joins it. Keep going to Spiegehoff Road — it only goes to the left (south). The park is less than a mile, on the left side.
Parking: Available next to the hill.
Note: You may have noticed one former sledding hill is missing from this list. The hill across from Bradford High School, on 39th Avenue just north of Washington Road, was a popular place for sledding. But now there is a big retention pond at the bottom of it. A sign at the side of the road says “No Sledding.” And we learned long ago to obey official signs.
Be careful out there! When sledding, dress for the cold weather, complete with hats, gloves, warm coats and winter boots, and always be aware of the other sliders on the hill. (Be ready to jump out of the way of a moving sled.)