Vermont Winter fun part 2 — sledding

There’s no less expensive way than sledding to have an afternoon filled with fun.  All you need is some snow, a hill, and anything that slides.

At the October Country Inn, we keep a supply of simple plastic tub sleds in the shed for our guests to use.  The backyard provides the hill.

For more adventurous sledding, Mt. Tom, a local sledding hill just outside of Woodstock, will provide the thrills if you’re willing to put in the work.

Two late afternoon sledders trek up Mt. Tom

The Mt. Tom sledding hill is located just outside of Woodstock.  Started by Maurice Wood during the early 1950s, but later taken over by the Rockefeller family, the Mt. Tom ski area had two poma lifts, and seven ski trails.  It combined with the Suicide Six ski area in the 1960s, and for a dollar, you could get a combination lift ticket. The Mt. Tom ski area was closed in the 1980s to focus on Suicide Six.  Now, the former 500 vertical drop Mt. Tom ski hill is a favorite local sledding venue.

Just about anything that slides can be used as a sled, but the most common types are the disk type, toboggans, tubes, or runner sleds.  Of the runner sleds, the “Flexible Flyer” is the tried and true favorite.  Invented by Samuel Leeds Allen, the Flexible Flyer has been the most popular sled for over a hundred years.

X marks the Mt. Tom sled hill. Follow Route 12 north out of Woodstock. Park across the street.

However, due to the thin runners on this type of sled, it doesn’t perform as well as the other types of sleds in deep snow.  Once the snow is compacted however, runner sleds like the Flexible Flyer are much faster.

To reach the Mt. Tom sledding hill, take Route 12 north from the center of Woodstock.  Go past Billings Farm, and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park.  Mt. Tom is on your left.  Park in the lot across the street.

If sledding sounds like a fun thing to do, but you would really rather not slog uphill 20 minutes for every 30 second ride, local ski resorts offer lift server tubing parks for a nominal fee.  At Killington Ski Resort, they have a multi lane, lift serviced tubing park that is lighted to allow of night tubing.