With fresh snowfall and cooped-up kids (and parents!), sledding makes for a great family outing during a WNY winter. If you have kids eager to brave the cold white stuff, they will surely have a great time careening down one of these local hills. Here is a round-up of the best family sledding hills near Buffalo, NY.
As a reminder, before having your kids go down any hills, be sure to check the surrounding area for hazards such as rocks, sticks, or trees. It is best to dress warmly and wear proper snow gear for any sled adventure.
Finally, with the pandemic this year, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and keeping your distance. Some parks limit space or hours, so it is best to call ahead and arrive early to avoid disappointment. You may also want to have an alternate destination as a backup if your chosen spot is too crowded.
Sledding Hills in Erie County
Akron Falls Park – 44 Parkview Drive, Akron NY (716) 542-2330
Hilly and expansive, sledders can enjoy the tranquil scenery without feeling cramped. This county park offers not only sledding but cross country skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Entry to the park is off route 93 onto Parkview Drive. There is ample parking and several sledding hills to choose from. Sledding is available daily (weather-permitting) from 10 a.m. until dusk.
Beaver Island State Park – 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island NY (716) 773-3271
This 950-acre state park is located at the south end of Grand Island in the upper Niagara River. It offers a handful of winter activities, including ice fishing, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling (by permit), snowshoeing. Parking is free during the winter. The sledding hill is generally open from dawn to dusk; however, they are often closed to the public. Be sure to call before heading over!
Chestnut Ridge Park – 6121 Chestnut Ridge, Orchard Park NY (716) 662-3290
This county park is a local favorite and one of the area’s top sledding destinations once the snow hits. All winter long, it offers sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, hiking trails (including one that leads to the infamous eternal flame), downhill skiing, and snowmobiling. The park has some of the longest and fastest slopes around, with a beautiful view of downtown Buffalo when atop the hill. Located in Orchard Park off Route 219, the sledding hill is behind the casino. There is also a twin toboggan slope where riders climb stairways to zoom down a chute. Note that the toboggan slope is closed for the season due to the pandemic. Sledding is available daily when conditions allow from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.
Como Lake Park – 2220 Como Lake, Lancaster NY (716) 683-5430
This county park is another popular destination among locals. Two ice skating rinks are free to the public, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Weather-permitting, the sled hill is open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm daily.
Delaware Park – 199 Lincoln Parkway, Buffalo NY (716) 838-1249
A gentle hill, perfect for beginners, Shakespeare Hill, is a popular choice for families who live in the city of Buffalo, which is otherwise pretty flat. It is perfect for kids of all ages, and the hill isn’t huge, so it is easy to get up and down. Shakespeare Hill is located behind the rose garden and is where the annual outdoor Shakespeare in the park takes place over the summer. Don’t forget to stop by the famed bronze statue of young Abe Lincoln!
Ellicott Creek Park – 1 Ellicott Creek Drive, Tonawanda NY (716) 693-2971
This county park runs alongside the curving shores of Ellicott Creek in Tonawanda. During the winter, it is a great spot for cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing.
Elma Meadows Park – 1711 Girdle Road, Elma NY (716) 652-5351
Here parts of its golf courses are open to those looking to have some fun after a fresh snowfall. There are great hills and valleys perfect for sledding, snowboarding, tubing, tobogganing, and groomed cross-country trails (which is unusual for a public park). It’s tranquil, picturesque, and perfect for sledders of all ages and abilities. Sledding generally takes place from 10 am until dusk.
Sprague Brook – 9674 Foote Road, Glenwood NY (716) 592-2804
At this county park, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoe trekking, and sledding. The sled hill is open from 10 am until dusk daily.
Sledding Hills in Niagara County
Fort Niagara State Park – 1 Scott Avenue, Youngstown NY (716) 745-7273
When the right amount of flakes have fallen, head to the sledding hills off the pathway toward historic Fort Niagara. The sledding hills range from small to long, perfect for both children and adults. In addition to sledding, visitors can also cross-country ski or snowshoe. The park is adjacent to the Old Fort Niagara Historic Site. Note that there is a parking fee per carload, but sledding is free. There are also year-round tours to go through Fort Niagara for an additional charge. Just a short drive away from Niagara Falls, this is a perfect full-day outing for the family!
Reservoir State Park – 5777 Witmer Road, Niagara Falls NY (716) 297-4484
A popular warm-weather destination, savvy locals also know it’s a winter paradise for experienced sledders. The slope is longer and steeper, so it is not recommended for young or inexperienced riders. The park is off Rte 31 and also near Niagara Falls and the Robert Moses Power Plant. As soon as you pull into the power plant lot, you will see sledders going down the retaining wall surrounding the hydroelectric power plant reservoir.
Of course, there are plenty more sledding hills across Erie and Niagara counties. Most area parks are open, weather permitting, and have FREE parking available. It is always a good idea to call before you bundle up the kids and head over to avoid any disappointment. And don’t forget when you get home to make some hot cocoa to warm up!
You can find even more places to go sledding around WNY here.