With the threat of snow this weekend I was reminded of the hours and hours I passed as a kid sliding in Minnesota winters. One could wonder if all these activities were concocted as coping mechanisms to allay the question Minnesotans often ask themselves this time of year, “Why do I live here?”

Or, Mankatoans can take advantage of some great local sledding hills like the group of MSU international students I saw at Sibley Park one of the last times I took my kids sledding on the infamous monster hill. They were on the hill looking to get the full-immersion Minnesota winter experience – and having a good time.

Sibley is renowned for a long, high-speed sledding experience. People take on this beast with anything from just their slick, nylon winter clothing to a tractor hood or a plastic bag — anything to reduce the coefficient of friction between them and the often glazed surface of the hill.

For those looking for more of a “bunny hill” experience, there’s Spring Lake Park in lower North Mankato. The hills are shallower and shorter and offers convenient parking at the top of the hill.

Buyer beware: if you take small children to Sibley, keep a close eye on them as I’ve seen several little people have their legs clipped out from under them because they didn’t move out of the way in time after reaching the bottom.

For those of you who know any of the kids in these pictures, you’ll realize these go back a few years.

Photo by Rick Pepper - Aaron Hernandez on Spring Lake Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Aaron Hernandez on Spring Lake Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Pepper kids and friends on the Spring Lake sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Pepper kids and friends on the Spring Lake sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Devin House on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Devrin House on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Alec Maertens, Jacob Pepper, Christian House on the Spring Lake Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Alec Maertens, Jacob Pepper, Christian House on the Spring Lake Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Devin House on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Devrin House on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Ben Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Ben Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Ben Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Ben Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Andrew Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Andrew Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Anna Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Anna Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill
Photo by Rick Pepper - Abby Pepper on Sibley Park Hill
Photo by Rick Pepper – Abby Pepper on the Sibley Park sliding hill

 

Rick Pepper
A life-long Mankato native Rick's current distraction of choice is photography. He especially enjoys event photography - capturing life's moments - and gets plenty of practice at his children's sporting events. He enjoys other media including live sound production and recording. He serves as a sound tech at his church.