When I first started the idea of using sledding hills in Lansing to distinguish a winter walking path I thought it was a great idea. Then two things happened. First, I was hit with the flu, twice. Then the ground-hog saw his shadow and our 16 inches of snow covering disappeared down river. By that time I had only made it to 3 of the 4 sledding hills, Angel Hill, Gier Community Center and Quentin Park. Much to the dismay of many Lansing folks, I was not let down by this great city and we were blessed with a mini blizzard and nine great inches of sledding material. There was no reason now to not make a stop at Frandor Hill. The actual name of this park is George E. Ranney Park, named after a civil war surgeon who bequeathed his riches to the City of Lansing, stipulating this park would be a park forever. The park also includes a baseball field, tennis courts and an outside skating park. The sledding hill is located almost mid way in this block long park. This isn’t a glamorous sledding hill. It protrudes out of nowhere and butts up against a back alley drive and the back exits of multiple Frandor businesses. Of the four possible sides to sled down, two could lead to a possible trip to the ER. One of these sides faces the parking area on the back road. The base of the hill on this side is lined with hay bales, half buried tires and a few stolen shopping carts. One should also be wary of the yellow painted cement parking posts that separate the park from the drive. The other “sled at your own risk” side quickly extends into a row of trees separating the hill area from an apartment complex. There are more hay bales on this side too and an impromptu berm to stop over achievers. The south side of the hill has a gentle slope, however this is often interrupted by a perfectly placed protrusion of snow. Finally, the side (north) that most seem to use could cause a slight trepidation in the squeamish. The angle of this side is such that while positioned in a sled about to go over, the slope is actually not visible. An excited adventurer would not see what lie ahead until well into the fall. For many this type of hill is perfect. It seems that it could be the destination of an older crowd given remnants of consumables left in the snow. On the plus side however, the view from the top is amazing; on all four sides.
As a final note there is one more hill for sledding. It is at Hawk Island. I had planned to go out to this one too but heard that they closed it down to add a tubing hill for next year.