Snow tubing in the lower Midwest has been a tradition for over a century. The Norwegians migrated to the Midwest en masse in the late 1800s and early 1900s and brought with them their love for winter recreation – long before snowsports became popular. Thousands of spectators would gather throughout the Midwest to watch the daring young Nordmenn jump and slide down local snow-laden hills. As popularity took over and spread throughout the Midwest, tubing, sledding and skiing became much more than a spectator sport.
Snow tubing is great because anyone can do it regardless of age or ability. There are a variety of hills all offering different adventures for the young'uns, thrill-seekers and the young-at-heart alike. I've never met any Powersports enthusiast that wouldn't set aside their sled or 4x4 for an hour or two of snow tubing fun.
Minnesota and Wisconsin led the way in providing tubing areas – particularly those with lifts – but today you can find some fantastic tubing runs throughout the lower Midwest as well that may even out-rank the upper Midwest locations. So bundle up and explore some of the top destination for snow tubing in the lower Midwest!
Locations for Snow tubing In the Lower Midwest
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park
4051 Dean Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa
There's something for everyone here from skiing and snowboarding to tubing and even luge sledding! The tubing hill is over 15 stories high offering 1,000 foot runs plus a lift to bring you back up to the top that will release you only to go flying down the runs once again. Tubes are provided and helmets are available for the little ones. Minimum age requirement is 4-years old. Tubing/Zipfy luge areas are open Friday-Sunday at $16-18 per person for a 2 hour pass. Group reservations available Monday-Thursday.
Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park
9500 126th St W in Andalusia, Illinois
Ski Snowstar is a family-friendly place that always offers a variety of activities and events throughout the season for snowsports fans of all ages and abilities. Tubes are provided and your 2 hour, 3 hour or day-long pass includes use of their Magic Carpet lift. There are 5-6 tubing lanes, offering a 68' vertical drop. Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Tubing is open Friday-Sunday and prices range from $13 - $21 per person depending on time of day and pass purchased.
Paoli Peaks Arctic Blast Snow Tubing
2798 West County Road 25 South in Paoli, Indiana
Arctic Blast Snow Tubing is great for all ages and abilities. Start at the top of the hill and tube down a 700' long chute where you reach speeds of 30-40 mph and then hop on the huge conveyor belt to do it again. This place is packed and you can expect to wait a while to get back to the top but you can warm your hands and nose at the outdoor fireplace or grab a snack. Tubes are provided and appropriate is also available for rental or purchase. No minimum age requirement but all children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Open Friday-Saturday and prices are per person at $25 for a 3-hour pass or $50 for an all-day pass.
Perfect North Slopes
19074 Perfect Pl Ln in Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Located in southeastern Indiana, Perfect North Slopes has some of the best snow tubing in the Midwest with one of the largest tubing centers. Choose from twenty, 750' long lanes or check out the three lanes in the children's area which is perfect for the little ones ages 3-6. Perfect North Slopes also offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and several outdoor fire pits. All-day passes available Monday-Thursday for $20-25/person. Enjoy 2- or 3-hour passes Friday-Sunday for $20-$30 per person. Prices include a tube and use of the snow tube lift.
More Snow-Sliding Adventures
Looking for something new to try? If speeding down an icy track at 80 mph sounds like fun, you need to try the sport of luge. While it's becoming more and more popular, there are a limited number of places that offer rental of a traditional or mini luge sled (Zipfy) and luge runs (especially in the lower Midwest). Those with ice-covered courses are MUCH faster than snow chutes so keep that in mind when selecting your destination.
Unlike most snow sleds and toboggans, the Zipfy Mini Luge has a handle. You sit across the "sling" portion of the sled with your legs straddling the handle. Steer your Zipfy by leaning one way or another. These are great sleds for all ages and a TON of fun!
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park – Zibob Sleds
Make sharp turns and speed down their course on your own or rented Zipfy sled. The course at Sleepy Hollow is well packed but not ice-covered. So it's a great place to try the sport.
Many of us have been tubing, but have you ever actually gone tobogganing? Toboggans are traditionally made out of wood but are also sometimes made of aluminum or plastic. The front of the sled is curved upward so that the entire sled looks much like a narrow "J" when viewed from the side. Unlike other sleds, the toboggan has no runner or skiis (or only very low ones) on the underside, so the sled sits directly on the snow. In some cases, specific toboggan runs or tracks have been developed to optimize speed and control.
Pokagon State Park – Toboggan Run
Experience the thrill of riding a traditional wooden toboggan down a quarter mile track at speeds of 35-40 miles per hour. The famous Pokagon State Park toboggan run started in 1935 and is located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It's open to the public Friday-Sunday. You'll have to haul your toboggan back up to the top, but flying down one of the 1780 foot, refrigerated twin toboggan tracks is well worth the effort. Rentals are $10 per hour.
Do you have a favorite destination for snow tubing in the lower Midwest? I'd love to hear about it!
About the Author: J.M. Stickney is a powersports enthusiast working as the Digital Marketing Manager at GearUp2Go. She loves to ride her Suzuki GSX-R600 on the street or at the track. While not on her bike she spends a lot of time outdoors, writing, reading, running or spending time with her family.