If a long weekend to the mountains is in your plans, here's a place you might want to check out.
Beech Mountain, about 3 1/2 hours from the Triangle, has a free sled run, which opened last week. The sledding hill is open daily for kids 12 and under through late February or early March. The hill has both natural and man-made snow. It is operated by the town's parks and recreation department. Safety personnel are on duty.
You can bring your own plastic sled, but they also are available for rent or to buy at nearby stores. And apparently the hill is a hit.
"The sledding hill is a great option for families with younger children who aren't ready for skiing or snowboarding yet, but still want to play in the snow," says Amy Morrison of the Beech Mountain Tourism Development Authority in a press release. "We get calls starting in September asking when the sledding hill is going to open. People plan their vacations knowing that they can use the hill. It's quite a popular attraction every winter."
The hill sits next to the town's visitors center where you can find heated restrooms and lobby along with free Wi-Fi service. Beach Mountain is the highest town in eastern America at an elevation of 5,506 feet. It gets about 84.6 inches of snow each year. There are all sorts of opportunities here for winter sports - skiing, snowboarding, etc.
Hours for the sledding hill are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends and holidays. Call 800-468-5506 for real-time sledding hill conditions. Click here for more information about Beech Mountain.
I'll just add this to the list of places I want to take my kids! Anybody been?