If you and the kids are looking for some winter weather fun, but heading to the slopes for skiing or boarding just seems like too much hassle — or too much money — perhaps it’s time to check out a smaller slope. In the Hudson Vall a popular recreation for the entire family. And no wonder: It’s fun, affordable, easy, and often close to home.
211 Rte 416, Montgomery
At first glance, the 800-foot former skiing hill, with two cable rope lifts and groomed lanes, looks almost like an Olympic operation. “People are often surprised at how fast you can really go,” says Tom Quinlisk of Orange County Parks, noting that the large, specially designed tubes maximize the ride. “Also, at the bottom, you can just keep going for quite some distance. It’s good old-fashioned fun; anyone can do it — there is no skill required — and the best part is you don’t have to walk up the hill again.”
In the lodge at the foot of the hill, riders can warm up by the giant stone fireplace while taking in the stunning views; basic snacks are available. The park also has more than three miles of cross-country skiing trails, which can be used for free — although no equipment is available at the park for either activity. “And of course there is the sledding hill right next to the tubing,” says Quinlisk. “That’s free too, and is great for the little kids who aren’t yet big enough to go tubing. There really is something for everyone here.”
*Thomas Bull Memorial Park is not offering snow tubing this year.
64 Klein Ave, Hunter
With a tow to haul you to the top of the mountain and tubing chutes — each nearly 1,000 feet — you are in for a wild ride at Hunter. The mountain, which also offers downhill skiing and snowboarding, ensures that fresh snow is on hand with 60 miles of snowmaking pipe. Tickets are $20 (on Fridays) for a two-hour tubing session, $25 (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays); group packages are available as well.
19 Resort Dr, Windham
Here, adventure seekers rocket down a 650-foot slope in canvas-covered tubes; six lanes and a conveyor belt serve the tubing hill. The adventure park also offers ice skating, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and kids’ snowmobile park. Tubing costs run $20 for a two-hour session, $25 for four hours, and $15 for Friday night tubing from 5-8 p.m.
51 Old Mt. Peter Rd, Warwick
Although this park might seem small compared to Windham and Hunter Mountain, don’t let looks fool you. This winter destination is home to tubing that any age can enjoy. Most parks require that you are 42 inches to race down the hill (to go down by yourself), but here there is a dedicated section for those under the height requirement called Little Tikes Tubing. This area is a place where kids can glide down a small hill in a tube or just play in the snow. The multi-lane, 600-foot regular tubing area is groomed regularly and equipped with a carpet lift, so you don’t have to walk up the hill. For a two-hour session it’s $30 (weekend and holidays) or $24 (weekdays).
99 Holiday Mountain Rd, Monticello
Need somewhere to take the kids on a cold, winter day? Look no further than this local adventure park. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday snow tubing is available for only $20 a person. The only requirement is that you are at least 44 inches tall and make sure to call ahead because sessions fill up quickly.