“It’s like being in a stroller again.” This was 6-year-old Finley’s description of sitting on the kicksled chair while I maneuvered the sled from behind her. We had rented the contraption — a chair mounted on flexible metal runners — from Hartley Nature Center.
Take Finley’s description of a stroller and combine it with an image of a dog sled, minus the pooch power. With a kicksled, as the name implies, you propel the sled forward by standing on one runner and kicking your other foot backwards off the ground. By twisting the handlebars attached to the back of the chair and leaning, you can steer the sled (sort of, in my case).
Kicksledding at Hartley Park
Currently, Hartley has four sleds, each fitted for different heights.
We started our adventure with the smallest one for Finley and the next size up for Daley. I walked along as they glided on the trails to the pond and then Old Hartley Road.
When Finley’s legs were tired, we switched out the little sled for one that fit me. She then enjoyed relaxing on my chair.
Here’s a video of the kicksleds in action. I especially enjoy Finley’s fancy high kicking form and her joyous singing.
More Than Exercise
At one point, our legs needed a break from kicking so we stopped alongside the trail. It didn’t take long and the kids became snow leopards in a wild animal preserve. They crawled around the snowy ditch, dug spots to sleep, and stared intently at winter walkers as they passed.
Of course, the old root cellar off of Old Hartley Road is always creepy and thrilling.
We spent nearly 2 hours kicking, sledding, exploring, and engaging in imagination play. It was a fun way to be active together in the winter, and still have a spot for 6-year-old legs to rest when tired.
For more information and rates, check out Hartley Nature Center’s website.
Have you been kicksledding? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!