Editor's Note: This was originally published in 2014.
Lancaster County is currently under a winter storm warning; one look outside says conditions are prime for sledding.
We asked readers to name their favorite local sledding spots, past and present.
Nostalgia-rich responses came in from all corners of the county.
Lancaster’s Buchanan Park, tucked in the city’s west end, alongside Franklin & Marshall College, holds a special place in many readers’ hearts.
Christina Baker-Draper, of Lancaster, and Laura Gillespie, of Manheim, are among the park’s many fans.
Lancaster retiree Karen L. Gainer grew up in Columbia, where she sledded on the hills near the high school and Laurel Hill Cemetery.
“We used a toboggan,” she says.
Carol Dickel, now of State College, recalls sledding on those Columbia hills, and the open space near Nissley and Centerville roads in East Hempfield Township, where a Turkey Hill now stands.
In the 1970s, Stu Metzler and his friends sledded down Fulton Street in Akron. When the street got busier in the 1980s, they moved to Roland Park.
Metzler and his wife, Laura, now of Lancaster, returned to the park in February 2010 to sled with one of his high-school teachers, Louise Ranck, and another friend.
“Our kids (Isabelle and Benjamin) are just 3 and under a year, so we haven’t done much sledding yet,” Metzler says. “But when we do, Akron will be one of our stops.”
Olivia Westcott Lancaster says Lancaster County Career & Technology Center’s Willow Street campus offers “hill sizes for all ages.”
Marc Pletcher’s snow-day outings to that school’s front yard with his daughters featured an added element of potential peril.
“You just have to dodge cars if you scoot across the driveway at the bottom,” he cautions.
Dottie Roehm Grimm and Patti Eshleman Mountz fondly remember “The Nutcracker,” a hill near what is now Garrett Field, off East Penn Grant Road in Willow Street.
Mountz, of Terre Hill, says, “You had to duck under fences on the way down and stop before you hit the creek/pond.”
Grimm agrees that dodging the electric fences and the threat of getting wet added to the thrill of sledding at The Nutcracker.
Sandy Yoder recalls riding down an “awesome hill at a farm near Bowmansville” 30-plus years ago.
“Good times ... lots of snow!!” she says.
Coreta Mendenhall, who now lives in Los Angeles, says the hill near Lancaster’s Lincoln Junior High School was her son’s childhood favorite.
About 35 years ago, Melissa Krawizcki Lewis, now of Santa Fe, N.M., started her sled by Lincoln and flew down the hill on the McCaskey High School campus.
Lewis’ sledding allegiance shifted when her family moved to Peony Road in the Lampeter area.
“Zook’s hill took over as favorite (trying not to wind up in the creek at the bottom),” she says.
Lewis doesn’t recall the hill’s exact location, but after leaving their house, her family crossed Lampeter Road and headed toward the Conestoga River.
Back then, Zook’s hill was on a farm, she says. It might now be part of a housing development.