Last winter was a bad year for sledding.
Unseasonably warm temperatures left local sledding hills empty of snow and lakes with little or no ice.
“I didn’t sled anywhere last year,” Robert Tarchinski, 17, said. Tarchinski, of Rochester Hills, enjoyed Bloomer Park’s sledding hill during the schools’ holiday break Jan. 3 with his friend Maria Magisenko, 16. Both attend Cranbrook Schools.
“This is a nice, long and pretty well-groomed hill,” Tarchinski said about the Bloomer Park hill. “And people are not walking on the sledding hill.”
“It is long and has bumps,” Magisenko said. “That gives it more of a thrill.”
“The sledding hill at Bloomer Park is really popular,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. “It is fantastic.” The park is located north of Bloomer Road, at John R, and is open 8 a.m. to dusk Thursdays through Sundays. It also offers cross-country skiing on non-groomed trails.
Ice fishers need 4 inches of ice before the lake at Spencer Park will be open for fishing. “Last year, we were not open a single day for fishing,” said Bob Lawson, Spencer Park ranger. “It just wasn’t safe. There was some open water all winter last year.”
Spencer Park is located off of John R, north of South Boulevard. Ice fishermen and ice skaters should call the park at (248) 656-4657 to find out if ice levels are determined safe on the 38-acre lake. Spencer Park also offers cross-country skiing on non-groomed trails.
A sledding hill at Lost Lake Park in Oakland Township will open after park officials determine a packed snow level of 6 inches. “We have more stringent requirements for opening this year,” said Mindy Milos-Dale, Oakland Township parks and recreation director.
Lost Lake Park, located on Predmore Road, west of Rochester Road, is under construction for improvements and a nature center. “We graded the hill and made so many changes out there,” Milos-Dale said.
“We inspect the hill every day around 8 a.m.,” she said. “We have a hotline at (248) 651-4440, ext. 299, that is available 24/7. Call the morning of that day.” The park is open every day 10 a.m., and closes at 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, and at 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. A warming shelter is open Wednesday nights and weekend afternoons.
Due to the construction, the township’s annual Lost Lake Winter Carnival will not be held this year. “We will have a grand opening for the entire park in May, hopefully,” Milos-Dale said.
Snowshoe enthusiasts are invited to a winter gardens snowshoe hike in Cranberry Lake Park 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 9. Snowshoes will be available for use for adults. The event is free to Oakland Township residents, and costs $3 for nonresidents. Register by Feb. 1 at the Parks and Recreation office, located at 4393 Collins Road. Teens will enjoy extreme sled skee ball 7-9 p.m. Feb. 9 at Lost Lake Park. Register at the Parks and Recreation office by Jan. 25. Cost is $3 for Oakland Township residents and $5 for nonresidents.
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