Snow tubing: winter time action that packs a thrill

According to an article in today’s New York Times, Punxsutawney Phil and Charles G. Hogg of the Staten Island Zoo have predicted an early spring. With that said, here’s a winter time action option while there’s snow to enjoy.

For anyone who wants the thrill of whizzing and spinning down a hill without the hike back up, tubing is it. Instead of strapping on a pair of downhill skis and forking over the price of a lift ticket, pay to tube instead. It’s cheaper, and you can do it as a group activity. Last weekend, when my five year old and I headed to Snow Trails near Mansfield, Ohio for a tubing outing, I was delighted to see the conveyor belt contraption that transported people back to the top. I had no idea. I also didn’t expect the various lanes with built up edges to keep tubers from crashing to each other. I expected a free-for-all.

First, we started out with him in one lane in his child-size inner tube and me in my adult version in another. Next thing I knew, there he was hanging on to one of the tubes of a group of older boys. They good-naturedly let him join their pack. Group tubing is allowed in certain lanes. I saw groups of four people barreling towards the bottom.

While Ohio’s hills are–well–hills, there are other places where the terrain might be steeper. Steep or not, if there’s a way you can get up the hill without walking, go for it. Also, because tubing hills are connected to ski resorts, you can enjoy the comfort of their lodges. Here are 10 of the tubing places I found. There are more.