Regional Snow Parks: Winter’s Best Pit Stops!

Pit Stops’ kids enjoying winter recreation while on the road!

If you’re traveling by car this holiday season, or have a family vacation road trip planned for this winter, don’t forget that snow parks can offer a cheap, fun, and festive alternative to traditional play spaces or restaurant pit stops. Often free (or requiring only a parking permit available locally), snow parks are almost always located directly off regional highways and usually include such luxuries as groomed snow trails, ready-made sledding hills, warming huts, and bathrooms. Not a bad way to spend that hour or so out of the car on a winter afternoon!

Our family’s favorite snow park is located at Union Creek Oregon, right off Highway 62 en route to Crater Lake National Park. (By the way, if you haven’t seen this natural wonder in winter, what the heck are you waiting for?!) Adjacent to the cozy Union Creek Resort, this full-service snow park offers the best sledding around. A rope tow is operational most days, but you’ll still work up enough of an appetite for a bite at Becky’s, serving up the best pie and hot cocoa around. If you’re crossing from coastal Oregon to central Oregon, be sure to circle this spot on the map! (50 miles from Medford on Hwy 62.)

Will you be traveling across Washington State this holiday? A Pit Stops for Kids reader favorite is Lake Wenatchee State Park, north of Leavenworth on Highway 2. In addition to sledding hills, you’ll find miles of cross-country, snow-shoeing, and even dog sledding trails. And the quaint Bavarian village of Leavenworth is only 25 minutes away!

Need to find a snow park along your winter driving route? The best place to start is with the National Parks Service. Look up state parks by state or region to find parks offering winter recreation. Toss gloves, coats, and a sled or two into the car, and you’re ready to go!

Happy (and safe) winter driving!

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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