The newest addition to our list of sledding hills, Koteewi Run is actually a tubing hill. It's the only one on our list that'll cost you money to ride, but the tow line pully system that gives you a ride to the top of the 40-foot hill makes it worth the price of admission ($25 on weekdays & $27 on weekends). Then, with a good push from one of the staff, you'll glide down 700 feet in under half a minute, then turn around, ride to the top and do it all again!
11300 E Prospect St. (Far Eastside)
Gnarliness on a scale of 1 to 5 = 5
Roominess on a scale of 1 to 5 = 3.5
Of all the hills we stopped at, Paul Ruster was the only spot that felt like it was truly made for sledding. Climb the big heap of earth from any side of the mound to arrive at 360 degrees of sledding free for all!
This sledding destination is a no-brainer if you live on the south side. The nature park is populated with trees and only a fraction of it is clear enough for sledding, but the handful of multi-level slopes offer more variety than most. It’s easy to pick up speed from atop the two primary hills and a couple of terribly placed tress present significant danger for inexperienced sledders. The parking lot by the entrance is small and fills up fast, but there’s additional parking at the top of the hill.
A fair comparison to Butler Hill in speed and slope, Brookside Park has a steady slant devoid of obstacles. Running parallel to the North-South stretch of Brookside Parkway N Drive, the hill has ample room for a nice running start. There’s plenty of room at the top for groups to congregate and the ride down was smooth and generally bump-free.
A short drive off of I-74 tucked away in the rural outskirts of Indy rests King Hill. A large mound backed up against a dense tree line makes for a narrow hill top that necessitates a lot of excuse-me’s and thank-you’s as you scoot along to your launch point. We spent a fair amount of time waiting for meandering kids at the bottom to make their way to the side because the speed captured on this hill will take out anything in the sled’s way - small children included. The people here were friendly nonetheless, both as we sat next to each other while waiting for our turn to go, as well as at the bottom when asked if they were okay after running into our sleds.
This expansive hill just west of downtown is wide and tall and consumes the entire southwest corner of the park. A sizable lot off of Belmont Street makes it convenient to reach and there are no obstacles in sight. It wouldn’t be rude to build ramps or make other modifications here, as there’s plenty of hill space for everyone to stake their territory.
Garfield Park is large and populated with many trees, buildings, parking lots, and other structures. It’s hard to identify which hill would be the most ideal for sledding, as there are many options. We chose the hills to the south and east of the Garfield Park Arts Center and took advantage of the steps leading to the top. Occasionally there were a few trees in the way and some bumpy spots on the way down, but a fun, safe spot to slide nonetheless! Some families may appreciate the shelter houses in close proximity, especially if grandma or grandpa want to come watch.
Ellenberger Park, 5301 St. Clair
Gnarliness on a scale of 1 to 5 = .5
Roominess on a scale of 1 to 5 = 2
Ellenberger Park attracts families with small children because of its low-grade bunny hills. If you’re seeking thrills of any kind, steer clear of this east side park.
This hill was recommended to us by someone who suggested it’s a good spot for younger children to sled. We would agree. There’s enough room for a handful of families to share sledding space and only a few obstacles here and there. There is ample parking space and the hills are easily accessible.