Sliding on Mt. Philo
Mt. Philo State Park is renowned for its great sledding and jack jumping, and is one of 3 best northern Vermont sliding locations. The tarred and banked roads of the State Park are closed to traffic during the winter months. A brisk walk to the top provides a superb view before an exhilarating 1.5 mile ride down. Many sliders stay on the relatively steep 1st climb from the parking lot. The Inn has a collection of sleds and jack jumps that are available to our guests.
Mt. Philo is the epicenter of Hammerhead country. This new and exciting high tech sled was developed and tested by inventor Steve Luhr right on Mt. Philo! Check out this exhilarating video of Tony "Max Speed" Telensky sliding on Mt. Philo at the 2014 Mt. Philo Innvitational. It's innovative pivoted steering system creates a faster and safer experience. You can carve big beautiful turns and navigate through obstacles. OutsideOnline's review says: "By far the testers favorite. The Hammerhead was fast, comfy, and outstandingly maneuverable. Time after time, the Hammerhead smoked every other sled in head-to-head speed tests, mostly because it was able to steer away from trees, small children, and other sledders." through In fast conditions, always wear a helmet and stay under control with a sled that steers.s wear a helmet, and stay under control with a sled that steers.
"Jack Jumping is a homespun, winter pastime of farm kids, hippies or self-employed dudes in their twenties (depending what decade in Vermont history you're looking at). It's a sport like no other: attach a plywood seat on a short post to an alpine ski, then let gravity do the rest, that is, until you reach the hill's end, hoof the contraption over your shoulder, and hike back up for another run. More than hearty fun though, jack jumping is a thread running through our state's history. It's a tradition, passed down from one generation to the next. As local doctor/jumper Lee Weisman points out, it's one other thing as well: a gas. Come spring, no hill had hosted as many turns as good ol' Mt. Philo. Mt. Philo is a geologic gift to the Town of Charlotte." Leath Tonino
Mad River Rocket allows you to carve beautiful turns, and is especially good in powder conditions. It started 20 years ago among a group of architects who lived in experimental homes in Warren, Vermont. After five years of tinkering, Dave Sellers and friends unveiled the Mad River Rocket in 1987. The tiny plastic boat has a monorail keel for steering and stability, gunwales on the bow to deflect snow and a quick-release strap to secure rider to the sled. The rider sits on his/her knees and uses hip thrusts to maneuver.
The inexpensive plastic Torpedo is the all-purpose sled, and will work in every snow condition. It is steerable by weight shift, hands and/or feet, in both the upright or skeleton position. Braking can be done with hands and feet, or just bailing out. Don't let it's simple appearance fool you. This sled is very effective and a lot of fun
The Mt. Philo Inn has several antique "Flexible Flyers", still a great sled for icy conditions. Sharp clean metal edges make it superfast and downright dangerous on a glazed surface. It's turning mechanism, though robust, is limited.
We have a pair of LaserLuges at the Inn. These plastic models of a professional metal luge are steered using a rope to control rigid front runners. Ideally weight shift keeps your speed at the maximum. For beginners, hands and feet work for steering and braking, but tend to slow you down.
Our antique toboggan is fantastic in powder, and is one of the only sleds that will work in those conditions. Steering is best done through weight shift
An antique bobsled, pictured above, is quite heavy, but scarily fast on ice.