Play it Cool

November 10, 2015

Riding our rails and trails

Jennifer Kovacs Silvis

Those who say Cleveland's winters are brutal don't know how to get the most out of the city. Sure it's cold - it's winter! But, there are several activities that make Cleveland winters worth looking forward to. So bundle up, get out there, and enjoy the cold-weather fun.


Choose your own adventure. Spine-chilling takes on new meaning at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort's Polar Blast, thanks to 20 lanes of snow tubing. Located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the resort doesn't skimp on the skiing and snowboarding either, offering 88 acres of slopes. Just west in Strongsville, the Chalet Recreation Area in the Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation boasts two icy toboggan chutes, which plummet the brave 700 feet at 40-plus mph.


The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad chugs through 12,000 years of natural history, exploring parts of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's 33,000 acres. But for one month each year, it heads to the North Pole. From Nov. 13-Dec. 20, the railroad offers a two-hour live reenactment of The Polar Express, complete with elves, caroling, hot cocoa, and Santa himself. Basically, it's everything awesome about the holidays mixed with a vintage Alco diesel pulling you through Ohio's only national park.


Looking to muster a few memories that would make Norman Rockwell jealous? Rent some skates at University Circle's Rink at Wade Oval, open Nov. 27-March 6 and located in the middle of Cleveland's museum district. Away from urban sprawl, rent snowshoes or cross-country skis at the Winter Sports Center at the Kendall Lake Shelter in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In ideal conditions, the center is open weekends December through February. Now mush!

For more on the winter months in Cleveland like festive events, cozy restaurants and outdoor adventures click here.  

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