With the snow falling (AGAIN!) , it’s time to bundle up and hit the sledding slopes! If you’re wondering where some great hills are, read on for a list of some of the best places to sled in the Iowa City-area!
Best Iowa City-Area Sledding Hills
1. Longfellow Elementary School
1130 Seymour Ave., Iowa City
The school grounds basically have a half-ring of medium-grade slopes all emptying into a large central area. A good choice for the younger set, as there is plenty of room to spread out, it’s not overly intense, and it’s far from traffic.
2. Hickory Hill Park
E. Bloomington St., Iowa City
This is a hike-in option with a hill both steep and tall from atop a manmade, dam-like structure. Enter Hickory Hill Park from the East Bloomington Street entrance and follow the trail to the right about a quarter-mile to reach the sledding run. This location offers a unique two-tier hill that adds excitement.
3. Happy Hollow Park
800 Brown St., Iowa City
This is perhaps the steepest option, a short but fast run that shoots users down a narrow track between trees on a wooded hillside. The staging area at the top of the hill is right next to a busy road, so it’s probably not the best option for littles even without the intense grade of the hill. There are some shorter slopes across the park, closer to the parking area, that offer more options for smaller kids.
4. Myrtle Ave., Iowa City
The granddaddy of them all, this is a huge and steep hill (with a beautiful view of downtown from the top) that starts from the parking lot behind University Preschool. Unfortunately, you can and will shoot out into traffic onto busy Riverside Drive at the bottom, so you must be comfortable with pitching your body into the snow at the bottom in order to stop your forward momentum. Not for the faint of heart.
5. Shimek Elementary School
1400 Grissel Pl., Iowa City
This is a very long, gradual hill on the school playground. Gently rolling hills lead down to a final, slightly steeper drop into a bowl-shaped depression in the ground. The playground is tucked away from streets as well, but this may not be the best choice for toddlers as it’s a long trek back up to the top (of course, you could just start from the top of the final descent to avoid that).
6. West High School
2901 Melrose Ave., Iowa City
A variety of longer, more gradual hills on the school grounds, with a nice view and isolation from heavy traffic, this is a decent option for sledders of all ages.
7. Weber Elementary School
3850 Rohret Rd, Iowa City
Weber offers another option for sledding on the west side. There is a decent-sized hill for all ages that is located behind the school. Parking is available in the school lot (during non-school hours) or on surrounding streets, and then it’s a short walk around to the back of the building for some sledding fun.
8. Brown Deer Golf Course
1900 Country Club Dr., Coralville
There are some very long hills here, with plenty of room to spread out.
9. North Ridge Park
2250 Holiday Road, Coralville
There are two hills at North Ridge Park – a larger, steeper hill for older kids on the Holiday Road side of the park, and then a smaller, shorter hill on the opposite side that may be a better fit for little kids and easy-going riders.
10. The Rose Bowl
135 N Oliphant St, West Branch
The Rose Bowl is a sunken football field that offers great sledding with two steep inclines on both sides of the field. This spot is located just outside of Iowa City in West Branch, across the street from Hoover Elementary and the West Branch Public Library. There’s plenty of parking available for those who want to make the drive to check out another fun sledding spot!
BONUS: F. W. Kent Park
2048 US Highway 6, Oxford
A huge hill near the Bob White shelter, though I’ve yet to witness it with my own eyes. The Iowa City Press-Citizen even called it “maybe the best place to sled in the county.” For those who have ventured down this hill before, I’d love to hear your sledding reports on this one!
For more visuals on local hills, check out Emily Farber’s YouTube video showing you Hoover, Happy Hollow, and Hickory Hill–she even has drone video! If you want to expand your hill search further beyond Iowa City, here are 10 sledding hills around the state that look pretty amazing. (P.S. As a kid who grew up in Dubuque, I can attest that Bunker Hill Golf Course is a great place to sled!)