Suburbs abound with sledding, tubing, boarding options

  • Fabyan Forest Preserve draws fans of sledding because of the nearby windmills Geneva is known for and the proximity of the sled hill to the Fox River.

    Fabyan Forest Preserve draws fans of sledding because of the nearby windmills Geneva is known for and the proximity of the sled hill to the Fox River. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Mount Hoy, a former landfill in Warrenville that stands more than 830 feet tall, is a popular spot for tubing.

    Mount Hoy, a former landfill in Warrenville that stands more than 830 feet tall, is a popular spot for tubing. Daily Herald file photo

  • Riverwalk Park in Naperville is a popular spot for sledding because it has its own snack shop. It also features special weekend hours for evening sledding. Pictured here is Nick Smetana of Naperville.

    Riverwalk Park in Naperville is a popular spot for sledding because it has its own snack shop. It also features special weekend hours for evening sledding. Pictured here is Nick Smetana of Naperville. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Caution: You might go airborne while sledding at Rotary Hill in Naperville!

      Caution: You might go airborne while sledding at Rotary Hill in Naperville! Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted1/1/2015 7:30 AM

There's a reason Mount Hoy near Warrenville is often listed among the top hot spots for suburban winter fun.

"Bigger is better," said Sue Olafson, spokeswoman for the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. "The faster you can go, the better it is."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Rising more than 830 feet, it doesn't get much bigger when it comes to suburban hills -- ones that call out to every fan of riding a coat of snow and ice at high velocity.

Once upon a time, Mount Hoy was a landfill.

"We've really morphed into a great place for families to come and just have a whole day of fun," Olafson said.

The surrounding Blackwell Forest Preserve that plays host to Mount Hoy also offers cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating and ice fishing.

But it's the tubing experience that draws most people to Mount Hoy. Multiple videos on YouTube show the park and the gliding, spinning, speedy run down the hill to the sounds of wind whipping at your ears and "Woo-hoo" shouts and giggles from the participants. One reviewer on Yelp.com even describes the preserve as "definitely my happy place."

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Mount Hoy rents out tubes. A cash-only payment of $5 gets you a tube and unlimited runs for the entire day.

But Mount Hoy isn't the only option for winter fun in the area.

There are more than a dozen major hills of various shapes, sizes and settings in the area to test out your winter sports gear.

If tobogganing is your thing, Caboose Park in Lake Villa has one of the few remaining shoots in the area. Many park districts and forest preserve districts ban the use of wooden sleds or sleds with metal runners because they tend to be involved in many of the sledding mishaps.

If you're looking for a place where you can drop the kids off, the sled hill by Schaumburg's Meinke Recreation Center is known as a kid-friendly sled environment. Adults can get a day pass at the recreation center and stay warm or work out until the kids are done sledding. The hill and rec center are also near Schaumburg's many restaurants and shops.

If you don't want to travel for snacks, Naperville's Rotary Hill has a snack shop adjacent to the sled hill. Or, if snowboarding is your thing, and you don't want to pay to do it, Randall Oaks Park in West Dundee welcomes snowboarding.

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