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The 12 best sledding hills in Chicago

Sledding hills offer a small silver lining to Chicago's snowy season—here's where you can find some of the best ones.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp
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Forget pricey trips to ski resorts around Chicago—if you're looking for cheap thrills this winter, grab a toboggan and head to the closest sledding hill. Chicago might carry a certain reputation for flatness, but you'll still find plenty of reasonably-sized slopes throughout Chicago parks and forest preserves, from toddler-friendly bunny hills to a 200-foot behemoth looming over the Dan Ryan Woods. Interested in night sledding? Some of these locations even offer staffed and lighted hills for sledding after sundown (just make sure to call ahead to check conditions before you visit). Don't forget your snow pants and mittens when you check out the best sledding hills in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in Chicago this winter

Sledding hills in Chicago

  • Things to do
  • Ashburn

Take a trip to Beverly to gaze at the distant Chicago skyline before plunging down a 200-foot hill—among the largest, if not the largest, slope in the entire city. The Cook County Forest Preserve lights up the hill and keeps it staffed seven days a week (Sunday–Thursday 10am–7:30pm, Friday–Saturday 10am–8:30pm) when there's at least three inches of snow on the ground. Want to check whether the hill is open? Call 773-233-3766 ahead of your visit to make sure.

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  • Attractions
  • Forests
  • Norwood Park

Pick up some snacks at Superdawg before hitting the slopes at this Northwest Side forest preserve. Enter Caldwell Woods at West Devon and North Nagle Avenues and you'll find the sledding spot nearby. Like Dan Ryan Woods, this hill is lit up and staffed when conditions are right; call 847-647-2240 to double check before making the trek.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Bridgeport

Known by locals as "Mount Bridgeport," the site of Palmisano Park is a former garbage dump that has been reclaimed as a recreation area. FYI: Parts of the hill are quite steep, so Palmisano might not be the best spot for novice sledders.

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  • Things to do
  • Evanston

The largest hill in Evanston's James Park—a 65-foot peak dubbed Mt. Trashmore, since its the site of a former landfill—is so intense that the city's park district has banned sledding on it, but thrill-seekers can still speed down a couple of smaller mounds around the park. 

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  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • Belmont Cragin

You can plan a full day of wintertime fun at this Belmont-Cragin park, which is also home to an ice skating rink in addition to its modest sledding hill. 

  • Things to do
  • Humboldt Park

Hills in Humboldt Park? Yep, there's one to the west of the fieldhouse (right by the lagoon) where those who simply must go sledding in the winter can get an oh-so-brief fix. Watch out for snowmen!

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  • Things to do
  • Albany Park

Located at the nexus of Irving Park and Albany Park, most of this urban oasis is pretty flat, but there are few gradual slopes that small kiddos might have some fun scooching down.

  • Things to do
  • Lincoln Park

Even a Cowardly Lion can handle the miniature sledding hill in Oz Park, which is just slightly more magical than other gradual slopes in the city due to the presence of Dorothy, Toto and Scarecrow statues.

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