Say it ain't snow. But it is.
Parents with kids eager to brave the outdoors don't have to leave Long Island to find ideal sledding spots. We've rounded up a host of places where you can challenge the local powder for FREE. Safety first though, so be sure to check surroundings for sticks, rocks, and more, and wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.
Don't forget to check our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on winter entertainment for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful.
There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide , from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter.
Bethpage State Park — Old Bethpage
The state park opens parts of its five golf courses to sledders. It's tranquil, picturesque, and perfect for sledders of all ages and abilities. (Inflatable sleds aren’t permitted; steerable sleighs only.)
Cedar Creek Park — Seaford
Hilly and expansive, sledders can enjoy this southeastern Nassau wonderland without feeling cramped. The absence of trees offers an unobstructed run to the bottom. (Sled hills open January-February, weather permitting.)
Christopher Morley Park — Roslyn
The county park boasts smaller hills, perfect for little ones. It's also easily accessible from the Long Island Expressway, weather permitting.
Eisenhower Park — East Meadow
Head to “Sled Hill" near Parking Field 1 when the right amount of flakes have fallen.
Flower Hill Park — Manhasset
Easy to overlook but hard to avoid, this park is near some of the hilliest terrain in Nassau County.
Grant Park — Hewlett
This 35-acre, sports-oriented county park transforms into one of south Nassau's top sledding destinations once snow hits.
Malverne High School field — Malverne
Who knew sledding near a flat football field could be such fun? It's safe and popular.
RELATED: Snow-day boredom busters for kids
An old-school saucer sled works at steep hills like Newbridge Road Park. Photo courtesy of Jason Weissman.
Newbridge Road Park — Bellmore
Don't let the single hill fool you: Newbridge offers a steep climb and descent, perfect for daredevils.
Bald Hill — Farmingville
One of the highest points on Long Island, Bald Hill thrills sledders with long runs and maximum elevation. It, too, is easily accessible, less than a mile from LIE Exit 63.
Belmont Lake State Park — North Babylon
This expansive space is perfect for novices, but it's safer to avoid hills near the large lake.
The Grange — Sayville
A gentle hill perfect for beginners, the Grange is a popular choice for families who live in an otherwise flat part of southern Suffolk County.
Heckscher Park — Huntington
A small space, but residents of northwest Suffolk swear by its steep hills and lengthy runs. Four trees dot the primary run, forming ideal lane dividers.
Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve — Commack
A popular warm-weather destination in the Town of Smithtown, savvy locals know it's paradise for dedicated sledders come the winter.
Mattituck High School — Mattituck
North Forkers have flocked here for generations, but be wary of the traffic as you cross the region's busiest street.
Southampton Youth Services Rec Center — Southampton
This expansive property in the Hamptons is set off from busy streets and ideal for young children.
Wicks Road Park — Commack
There are a number of potential destinations in Commack, but steep elevation changes near the community Little League field make this a favorite.
Of course, there are plenty more potential venues across Nassau and Suffolk. Ask around and you're sure to find recommendations. Most area parks have free parking and open only when weather permits. Some have accumulation rules, so call in advance before you bundle up the kids and head over.
This article, first published in 2013, was updated in January 2018.
Top photo by Philms via Flickr.