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Sleigh Riding Sleigh riding is the favorite winter activity in the Coal Region (at least until you're old enough to drink boilo). This poll went way beyond a top-ten list. We got so many varied responses to this poll that I've decided to just post all of them. Thanks to everyone for their submissions!
There is an alley between Indiana Ave. and Ohio Ave. in Shendo Heights yo. The offical name of the alley is Union Ct. (I got that from www.mapquest.com. I grew up there and didn't know the name.) It is one block east of Swatara Rd. I don't know what the angle of this thing is but it is STEEP. My family has owned cars that wouldn't go up this thing in the summer. We called it the "Giant Food Market Hill" or later the "Giant Fuji" as there used to be a little store at the bottom (Ohio Ave) of the hill. The plows/ash trucks wouldn't go near the thing, so it stayed good for a long time. The only problem was the plows/ash trucks would hit Ohio Ave so you'd be sledding along at mach 2 and hit wet road at Ohio Ave, that would usually stop the sleigh but not the rider. Much to the dismay of the residents of that street, we would usually pile up snow to get across without tearing up ourselves and our sleighs. I remember one bonehead going under a car there because he was dumb enough to go down with no one watching for cars. Believe it or not he just got scratched up.

Growing up in Tamaqua was peril enough, one would think; but, we found other ways to find an avenue out of the town (death, dismemberment). Our two favorite sleigh riding hills were: 1. The Mine Road: A stretch of heavily rutted, coal strewn "roadway stretching from Summit Hill to Tamaqua's East End with "strippins" on one side and "sticker bushes" on the other. We only used the 1/4 stretch behing the East End. Who knew what was in Summit Hill? 2. Patterson Street Hill: From Mountain Avenue to the old Lehigh New England tracks in the East End. Sometimes, if we were lucky, parents would watch for cars.

The hill at 2nd & Beech in Mt. Carmel. Always 20+ kids during any snowfall. We'd build ramps & always have a lookout at the bottom for cars. On a good run, you could almost reach 3rd street

Best sledding hill is German Hill at St. Mauritius in Ashland.

The best sledding hill is High 2 at the Fountain Springs Country Club.

Carney's Hill in Shamokin

Old time winters were great - lots of snow! A favorite hill in Girardvile was the hill by the Methodist Church and Rudy's Tailor Shop. This hill was two-tiered and you got a wonderful ride all the way to Ogden Street and the bridge by Razzi's Bar! Someone had to be "lookout" and yell "Lehigh" when a car was coming! Another favorite with the Ashland crowd was the FSCC golf course hill! A good ride, too. Both hills did have a long hike back up to the top! Fun, fun, fun!!!!!

Stiney Groff's Hill in New Minersville

Sally's Hill in Ashland

Clay St. Tremont, from Maurer's farm past Tremont High School

Market Street Hill in Mt. Carmel

In Hazleton, the best place to go sleigh riding was easliy Scamper's Hill

My favorite sleigh riding hill was "Carney"s Hill" in Shamokin. My next best favorite was the "Cemetary Hill" in the Polish Pocono's section of Shamokin.

Rasberry Hill in Shamokin. On the way to Ashland from Shamokin.

The Third Street hill in Mt. Carmel was and still is the Best!

Center street hill in Jim Thorpe!

Snake Hill in Tamaqua

Walnut Street hill in Delano.

The best sleigh riding hill was Cremos' hill next to the Minersville swimming pool.If you made it to the bottom and could make the turn at Haneys' house that was something. Sometimes we would try to go down with 2 or 3 kids stacked on one sleigh. That was the best. The worst part of the whole night was walking back up the hill. If some of the kids didn't have a sleigh we shared ours or took turns.

Bell's hill in the Glovers Hill section of Shenandoah.......

My favorite sleigh riding spot was a dirt road coming down from Jumbo's Breaker in Atlas. There was a kink in the hill about halfway down with some sort of little shanty or booth at that spot. It was fun to try and make it past that area, though I remember a playmate, M.A.C., who didn't and got a hell of a gash straight up her outer thigh. They had to haul her away to get stitches. I heard she got something like ten stitches, then somebody said fifteen, then twenty-four . . . This event did not deter us. In fact, we found one farther down a coal road with a ski jump inside a sort of crater. But Jumbo's was still the best. (This was around 1956.)

Chester St. (200 and 300 block) in Shenandoah. Probably the steepest and longest hill in town. You could ride from West St., past Gilbert St.

I always enjoyed sleigh riding on the golf course at the Fountain Springs Country Club.

I feel that the Fountain Springs Country Club is one of the best places in the area.

Snake Hill in Tamaqua!!!!

Great poll question! In Frackville there were two infamous sleigh runs: 1. The Nun's alley: this is the alley between Center and Nice streets that begins at St. Joe's Church (the alley actually starts at the corner of the old nun's convent accross from the church; hence the name). This senic route ran by Billy Delinsky's house, and ended at Oak Street.
2. The top (north) end of Balliet Street. This was a nice run that included senic views of John Paluski's and Ed Domozik's house...a thrilling ride.

When 8th street was closed between Mahanoy City and Delano, due of course to mine cave-ins, our family would gather together( aunts and uncles) and do our sledding there. You could go for miles....

Favorite sledding hill was the back streets of Mechanicsville and behind the Mechanicsville Elementary School. On a good day, you could start at the top of Pottsville street and go downhill, up the next hill, turn right, go downhill to Anderson (?) Addition...no better ride than this!!

The Hill along side "Jumbo's" Coal Breaker. (Corbaccio family enterprise.) in Atlas, PA. Patch next to Mt. Carmel.

My favorite hill was Chestnut St. between Park and Second in Mt. Carmel. Snow removal/cindering being rather primitive in the late 50's andearly 60's, this hill could be used for days, especially with constant sleigh use, and an occasional car that made it up/down which then packed the snow very tightly.(As my Busia told me, Like leftovers, they get better if they sit a while) On a good day you could with a running start, of course, begin at Third, come down the Chestnut street hill, past Second, past the Avenue, Down the next Chestnut st hill, cross the RR tracks and the "s**t crick" bridge, pass Bachies distributors at the corner of Center and Chestnut, and come to a stop where Chenstnut ended in those days near the old culm bank. That was a distance of 5+ blocks. If conditions were optimum (snow packed so hard it was on the verge of ice)& you had a large sleigh like our Flexible Flier, you had a good "guider" as my dad, and enough weight, you could attempt the ultimate. My dad laid flat with two kids on him, our legs spread so a fourth kid could kneel between the legs on the back of the sleigh (he was also the "push guy"). We started at Third, down the Chestnut st hill, past Second, (where Sarisky's corner grocery was), past Bartos, Pupo, Coleman, Becker, Slater, and Shutt's--don't forget the Gondols, (I include this for my old friends from Mt. C who may still remember the old neighborhood) then begin a long sweeping right hand turn from Breslin's on the left to Nestico's bar on the corner and go down the Avenue Hill past Klacik's, over the tracks, past Walnut,past Murdock's on the left and Glovacki's market on the right, past Locust, across the "s**t crick" bridge til we came to a slow stop. Again, another 5+ blocks, BUT with the big turn, that greatly increased its degree of difficulty. Almost as much fun was the long walk back up to the top. Invariably, everyone talked at once and related their "death defying" experience of the just completed ride: How Bobby Bartos "almost fell off on the turn" or Paulie Shutt "just about suffocated under the weight of Jackie Slater" who was on top of him, etc.etc. Its funny, but these long rides almost always happened at night(a scary thing when looked at today through adult eyes)no doubt adding to the adventure. Your site is absolutely great, particulary your "coal country speak", and I'm grateful for the opportunity to contribute a few of my memories.

Down the Broad Mountain on Meadow Run trail in Lake Hauto.

Girard Park in Shendo!!!!!!!

The gun club hill in St. Clair. We would say- "we're goin' up da gunnie for a ride."

1. The Fountain Springs Country Club. Not just one hill, but three, and, like diving cliffs, all requiring varying skill levels:
a. The small hill closest to the clubhouse. For the little kids. A long, straight hill with a low angle that was clearly meant for toddlers to get some experience with their first sleighs.
b. The big hill after the first green. Steeper, a straight ride, but no greens. Could be fun if it was one of those sleety snows that allowed for higher rate of speed, but, in general, not a very exciting ride.
c. The big hill below the Ashland State Hospital power generator. A monster of a hill -- steep, with a green right in the middle. It was rumored that anyone who went over the green on a sleigh -- a straight drop of about eight feet -- would get a broken back. Most kids who tried simply wiped out and laid there groaning for about 10 minutes. But this was THE RIDE for anyone interested -- and the more kids who showed up, the slicker the paths grew. Also, there was inherent danger in that the back road to Gordon cutting through the Country Club was only a few dozen yards from the bottom of the hill, and it was often hard to stop before reaching it, usually requiring the rider to pull an Evil Knievel and wipe out on purpose and go tumbling into the snow. The worst part was running back up it afterwards -- seemed to take forever.
RUNNER UP:
2. Fountain Springs Catholic Cemetery. A long, steep hill, with paved roadways, so that when it was an icy snow, the speed would increase dramatically on the asphalt. Sometimes we'd go up to the top of it and pour buckets of water down at the start to ensure even better rides. Sane kids simply stuck to the snow-covered paved road and had a great ride. The nuttier ones detoured through the tombstones and sometimes cracked their heads open when they couldn't maneuver their Flexible Flyers out of the way. This was highly dangerous and would have been totally unapprovable to any adult, which made it all the more glamorous. Next to throwing rocks at a hornets' nest, this was the most dangerous thing we could do as kids. Since it was right in town and open to the scrutiny of passing adults, it lost points for not having the Country Club's air of sleighriding exclusivity. People might have gone to the cemetery on a winter's night to pay their solitary respects, but one went to the Country Club on a winter's night for one reason only.

The best place is Big Mountain Road, down in the Fifth Ward Shamokin!!

What a great topic!! In the 5th Ward(the Bloody Fifth), a hill known as the Rasberry Hill was a great place to sleigh ride. The Dancott Colliery was located on the hill and made a series of zig-zag roads for their trucks to bring in the coal for processing at the "breaker".The trucks also used the roads to dump the slag left over after the coal was sorted. The result of this process were large rock banks and roads that were perfect for the beginner, intermediate and "whacked-out" sleigh rider.
The older and crazy riders would take their "Flexible-Flyers" over the edge of the rock banks straight down to the street conveniently called Rock St.The less experienced and more timid would use the zig-zag roads Long trains were made by lying on one's stomach and placing your feet in the openings of the sled behind you. Of course piling 2 or 3 people on top of one another was a common practice do give pleasure to those who didn't have sleds and to those who were beginning to enjoy the opposite sex.
So, "goin' upda Razzie" was a popular practice during snowstorms.A major part of the Razzie was just natural grass and rock and a popular spot for coal shovels and cardboard sleds. On many occassions did one find themself smacking into a neighbors fence, car or chicken coop.

Lumber Company hill on W. Centre St., Mahanoy City. My father would put ashes across the bottom so we wouldn't end up on Centre St. (Rt. 54). Today I guess parents would consider it dangerous!

Best sledding? Hands down Mary Rose's hill in Nesquehoning. A steep hill that curves at 90 degrees to the left so when you go down it you fly off the little cliff at the edge of the woods and land down near the rail road tracks, with your body contorted in ways previously thought impossible to attain.

This is a little addendum to the Mary Rose's hill email, but just about any hill in Nesquehoning is good for sledding. In fact Nesquehoning means 'narrow valley' in Lenape. You can see it too...the valley forms a V and the Italian side(New Columbus) and the hunky side(Nesq.) sort of creep their respective sides of the V. So anyway, out of all of the Panther Valley towns sledded in, Nesquehoning's got the best hills, and the best of the best is Mary Rose's.

Stoney Point sometimes called Rocky

Ft. Springs Country Club golf course, 2nd hole

The hill across the street from Centioles was the best sleigh riding hill of all time. No traffic, a steep double hill, and a block from the Jiffy mart for when you get thirsty.

Catawissa Road, Ashland, PA

The best, fastest, scariest sleigh ride in the coal region started at the spot where the minefire melted the snow on the old Mahanoy City road and ran down to where the Shenandoah Babe Ruth field is. There is no comparison, especially when it was a bit icy. This site will not win simply because of the fact that there are so few of the riders left to tell the tale.

The best place I ever went sleigh riding was down Oneida St. in Shamokin. It was a short, steep road with a sewer grate right in the middle of it which kept cars from using the street, but worked great as a jump when using a snow tube.

My favorite sleigh riding place was the clay banks in Blackwood with a quart of yuengling in my hand.

Without a doubt, the best place ever to go sleigh riding was Fun Hill in New Philadelphia. You could go as fast as you wanted to(until you ran into the fence at the bottom). Klim Avenue was(and still is) another popular place to go sleigh riding.

I vote for "Big Steepy" Up Da Heights (Marion Heights). This legendary steep incline street is the last to get plowed (if it even gets plowed) and is for expert sleigh riding only. Everyone know Da Heights is one big hill and gets plenty of snow. If it gets too deep, this area is used as a snow dumping area. It is between Warsaw and Clermont Streets or 3 blocks south of the Tower Of Pizza (formerly Dukes).

Dutch Hill In Tamaqua....1st choice - Snake Hill, 2nd choice - Columbia Street.

Da #1 Vote for the sleigh riding hill...for a quickie but steep with a "fun" finish...you get to dodge da cars...is Poplar Street from Jardin on down to Main Street in beeutifull downtown Chendo.

My favorite sleigh riding moments were interlaced with technical difficulties, which, at the time would send me home crying, but now give me the best laughs. I lived in West West Terrace, and had a four wheeler and a sled and a rope. That should explain enough, but just in case it doesn't, here's what happened. The sled was connected to the four wheeler via the rope. The four wheeler was then used to pull the sled and its occupant on one mother of a wild ride through the streets of West West Terrace all through the night. This was where the best memories were made and the most fun was had. Then the snowplow came and sort of 'bumped' my rider. Well the plow driver was pretty upset, and the cop (an unforgettable figure) came and told my dad. Then I wasn't allowed to do it anymore. But while it lasted it was the greatest thrill in the world!!

Market Street hill between the avenue and railroad street in Mt.Carmel

My favorite sleigh riding spot is the uni-della behind St. Nicks hall in Primrose

Pridokas' hill (Actually Julia Street) in G-ville. Known as "Perdokies Hill". Not especailly long, but pretty steep. If it was icy, you could make it almost to Main St on a Flexible Flyer, properly waxed. I used to do a lot of night time sledding with my friends on that hill as a kid. This was done with my parents' permission and blessing. Now looking back, it was pretty dangerous. A little crazy, really, given the fact that cars couldn't stop on a dime in snow and ice. Of course, there was less traffic then, too. Or maybe the parents were trying to tell us something....

BTW-Scheele's Hill will get the majority of Guntown Votes, but if you were from the west end, there's no other hill besides Predokies. My brother also reminded me how we used to snowball the hell outta the cinder truck when it ruined the fun. We sure did.

My favorite sleigh riding hill was on Walnut Street in Ashland! We started at the top of the town on 19th Street and went down to third street hoping that no cars would hit us. We were lucky because none ever did! My favorite sled was Flexible Flyer (a really big one). I enjoyed reading the messages on the various area of the web and liked the music too. Well I'll say goodbye for now.

My favorite sleigh ridingspot...the gold courses in Locust Valley!!

One of my favorite sleigh riding places in Pottsville was the really, really steep Jackson St. hill, right off of E. Norwegian. You're lucky if you get through the ride alive! Once I hit the bottom and went flying clear off of my sled, airborne! Better than any amusement ride, lemme tell ya!

#1 from Primrose in Cass Township...Sleigh dowm the "high road" or sleigh down the "low road" non-stop all the way to Quandel's. its a good long ride.....that was in the 70's. probably not safe now, they used to watch out for kids on sleighs then cause there were a lot of us.
#2 for sheer speed.....down the Minersville High School hill in a "train". you know.....belly flop on your sled with your feet in the front of the guy's sleigh behind you and so-on. we used to have like fifteen sleighs in the "train". talk about fast.......we'd go right cross the low road into the lady's driveway and yard to stop. she never hollered at us. i think she still lives there. we were the last of the baby boomers...not much kids around now. we used to travel in packs, on our sleighs, bikes, and dirt bikes.

Public Hill in New Phila on green garbage bags on our way to Holy Family Catholic School with my best friend in the whole world Bonnie. Then on our days off we would chain together all our sleds and hope no one got run over on the way down.

One of the best hills is West Chester St. in Chendo. My sleigh was called Red Charger and I still have it. We would fly down the hill and zoom through the intersection on Chesnut street and end up down on Gilbert street. When your 9 or 10 you have no fears so we never thought about getting hit by a car!

My favorite sleigh riding hill was Market Street in Mt. Carmel.

Many a coalregioner challenged the steep Market Street Hill in Mt. Carmel. The challenge being that you build up tremendous speed going down the hill. At the bottom you have 3 choices: find a way to stop, turn down a side street, or run headlong into the stonewall along the shit creek. Many of my family members have experienced the panic of realizing we were about to taste the stone wall. One of the best instruments of speed we used on the hill was my mom's cookie sheets. As we became more confident on "the Market St. hill" we built tremendous ramps that would make Evil Knievel proud. This eventually led to more pleasure and pain.

Fisher's Hill (Center Street) Jim Thorpe

My favorite was riding down the hill behind the Mahanoy Area Intermediate School (formerly the Mahanoy Township High School). We would ride down behind the school across South Street and then across Mahanoy Avenue and to the Kozy Korner at the Interesection of Sixth and Pine Streets. It was one hell of a ride!!!!

Coming down the snow-covered grass in front of Mahanoy Township High School on a piece of cardboard was harrowing.

Would like to add the "Black Desert" just north of Mahanoy City. Very steep silt bank with sulphur creek running at bottom

The best place to sleigh ride in Minersville was Cremos' hill next to the swimming pool.

St. Nick's Cemetery in Llewellyn. No doubt about it.

Mulberry St., Shamokin

Both North and South 20th Streets in Pottsville - some nights the cops would close one of them off for us to sled!!

The Fountain Springs country club golf course.

Wally's Dip Ringtown Valley.

A hill off McKinley St. in Hazleton w/ my dad's RadioFlyer

Moorenoll Street in Sch. Haven. We used to sleigh ride down the hill and stop right at Stoyer's Dam.

The hill on the 1st level (softball field) outside da Mahanoy H.S. Tough as nutz to climb, but build a ramp and have lotta fun !!!

Favorite Sleigh riding hill was Tunilla's Hill. in Mahanoy City.....

Favorite Sleigh riding hill was the Pottsy Hill, in Mahanoy City...

Favorite Sleigh riding hill was West St in Shenandoah....

The ridge at Huss's horse farm or cemetery hill (known as Shenandoah Rd.) in Ringtown

Kotchie Hill in Frackville, or if you did not have the nerve, Red Man's Hill one block over. It was good because after the first snow fall, no Cars could go up or down (safely). I was personally responsible for taking out three Pickets from the fence at the bottom of Redman Hill.

McDade Park was da best fer sleigh ridin. Hey, yousguys fergot da donut shop! Hanna or no?

The steep mountainside on the right side of the highway just before you get to Lackawanna State Park.

The Bakery Hill, located up the hill in about the 600 block of East Railroad St. in Mahanoy City. A path that came down the mountain and what made it so much fun is that it wound around several strippin' holes. Missed a turn and you were in one. Also often we didn't use a sleigh but an old car hood. Pile a bunch of kids on that and come down the hill. Another was the hill down the old dirt road into Locust Lake. It ran a couple of miles and was a blast on a toboggan.

Pine Street, Ashland. From 13th St. to 10th St. Before they started using chemicals to clean up the roads. Good steep hill ended up in an old baseball field, now a house. Some nights the town blocked th eside streets off for us and we could start at the highers-up at 15th Street and go all the way to 9th Street. Lots of walking, but worth it.

The best hill i've ever been sleigh riding on is the hill coming from MAHANOY CITY into the valley [Barnesville] (aka the Vulcan). that's the best...there's some good hill's in Mahanoy city too (and Snake hill/Dutch hill in Tamaqua aren't too bad either, but the hill goin into da valley (Barnesville) is da best!

My favorite hill to sleigh on was Scheely's hill, came down the main street to Ogden Street and if you veered off the road you went into the creek, my second favorite hill was the one past the old High School by the baseball field, I forget the name as it has been a few decades.

The Black Desert outside of Mahanoy City was dangerous but fun.

My friends and family used to love sleigh riding up at the St. Clair Gun Club. There was a field next to the clubhouse with a good-size slope that was perfect for the winter time. The best was when we made ramps at the bottom to get some air-time.

The best hill had to be St. John' hill in Mt.Carmel. That is the hill on Willow st. between Avenue and Second St.Best done on a sled you could go all the way to Third St. if someone was watching for traffic.

The best memories I have at 52 years young is sledding at night in the alley way behind my house in Arnots Addition, St. Clair and flying down the alley way ontop of my dads back on the biggest sled I ever saw. I must have been around 5 years old then and the alley way was full of snow, drifts, and full of kids. The hill was too big and scarey for a young kid to take on but I remember Dad taking each one of his kids down and riding back up the hill on the sled...Dad pulled it of course. He took us down until we were brave enough to make a go of it ourselves. What made it special was the thoughts that my Dad was such a superman when it came to his kids. He did everything with us. He taught us how to do just about everything. He made the best ice igloo's and snow forts in the state of Pa. Winter was wonderful and Joe Stepen was even better! That's cause he was my Dad!

South Seventh St. hill in Shamokin!!!

The best hill was big ben right behind at the service electric building in Mahanoy City. We would go up at night with buckets of water to slick it up for the next day. Then we would go into the war gardens and use car hoods as a community sled.

Sledding down Wood Street, Scranton PA. Fun,fun. Lots of good memories.

We would like to vote for the juggy and the main.

1. Girard Park in Shendo. On a good run (dodging trees and other kids), you could come all the way down the mountain and almost run into the propane tanks behind the Park Restaurant.
2. Far north end of Jardin Street in Shendo. Dead-ended at the bottom into Pig Shit Alley. Too bumpy for a regular sleigh, but a great spinning ride on an aluminum disk.
Poll taken in December, 1998
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