What: Sledding Hill
Where: Beech Mtn., NC
When: November – March
Photos: For photos, visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook
For information on where to stay, shop and what to do in Beech Mtn., see our series of posts on Beech Mountain, North Carolina
The FREE Sledding Hill
Next to the Beech Mtn. visitor’s center, tucked behind a split rail fence is the Beech Mtn. community sledding hill. Sledding on the hill is free and open Nov. through mid-March, but BYOS – Bring your own sled. If you don’t have a sled, rent one from Beech Meadows Ski Rental (two doors down from the visitors center) rental sleds are $5 a day. If you’d prefer, you can purchase a sled for $10-$20. In addition, Fred’s General Mercantile (short walk) also sells sleds for $10-$20 (more on Fred’s later in this post).
There are two sides to the hill, one seemed to have more bumps, while the second was a bit smoother. There is a referee who monitors the hill to make sure visitors are adhering to the 12 and under rule and manage crowds if needed. Parents are allowed to go down with their pre-schooler, but otherwise, this is a kid’s domain. There are even clean, warm bathrooms located in the visitor’s center next door.
The sledding hill is a community affair. It is operated by the Beech Mountain Parks & Recreation Dept. The department staffs the hill with safety personnel and it’s not uncommon to see Jim Brooks, the chamber president, blowing snow. The story of how the sledding hill came about is interesting. When Fred Pfohl of Fred’s General Mercantile was mayor, a snow-gun salesman stopped into his store on the way to a sales call at the ski resort. He got to chatting with Fred, and Fred came up with the idea of buying a snow gun so the town could operate a sledding hill. Fred took the proposal to the Town Council, it was approved, the snow gun was purchased, and the rest is history.