Winter Weekend Activities Near Hingham: Snow Tubing
Brought to you by Hingham Realtor Alice Pierce serving the South Shore of Boston.
Spinning and twirling down an icy slope on a large inner tube that cannot be steered, or readily halted, all the while with snow billowing into your face may sound like a foolish choice for recreation. But the safety provided by groomed tubing parks matched with the lack of control is what makes it so much fun.
Where there is a ski resort there is almost always a snow tubing park in close proximity. It is a fun activity for all ages and requires very little skill. It doesn’t demand purchasing a whole lot of equipment and does not require training.
Similar to sledding, but a bit more interesting, snow tubing uses a rubber tube inflated with air to zip down groomed trails, or long hills. The design of the tubes used for riding on snow are generally designed with a depression in the center instead of a complete hole. This then prevents the rider from dragging part of his or her body on the snow. Snow tubes also might have handles much like those used to tube in the water.
Gravity and a lack of friction propels the snow tube riders speedily downwards before hitching a ride back up to the top on a chairlift or motorized towline. This makes for easy, repeated trips down the snow tube course.
Snow tubing has become so popular that some ski resorts offer their own courses that are devoted solely to tubing. Tracks are actually built specifically for the tubes provided by the resort. Barriers are created using ridges of snow to separate the tubing lanes and to guide the snow tubes down the slopes.
Snow tubing is not without dangers so bear in mind the importance of knowing what you are getting yourself into and follow all the rules of the snow tubing park. Know that all snow tubing parks have minimum height requirements so be sure to check the website of the resort you plan to visit
The circular shape of the tube negates most control of direction making this a lot like an amusement park ride. If one feels the need to “steer,” one reflexively tries dragging their arms, but to no avail. This maneuver simply makes the tube spin more wildly and is when minor injuries can occur.
Avoiding trees and other fixed objects, and access to other tubers going down the slope allows for a safe and fun experience. Most accidents occur when snow tubers go off the dedicated course and try to forge new trails. Designated areas are built with safety in mind and ensure that the only thing a tuber will hit is snow.. Going down non tubing trails can easily go awry when trees, embankments, holes and rocks are the norm.
Snow tubing areas are clearly marked by the resort and safety instructions are posted in numerous places. Resorts always have attendants strewn about the course to give reminders and enforce the safety regulations. Some good signs of safety are to see mats at the end of the tubing lane to slow incoming tubers and ample staff to help keep riders safe. Tubers are always more than welcome to use a helmet while tubing.
Nashoba Valley Tubing Park
Nashoba Valley Tubing Park is the largest tubing park in New England, and located just over one hour from Hingham, MA and the South Shore of Boston. Depending on weather conditions, there can be as many as 18 lanes available maintained by Nashoba’s experienced grooming equipment with more than 600 snow tubes on site. All tubing lanes are services by four lifts that bring snow tubers to the top of the hill with no effort. There is also, like most winter sports resorts, a comfortable lounge for relaxing, sitting, eating and even television watching.
The slopes at Nashoba Valley’s Snow Tubing Park are open seven days and seven nights a week so you can bring the family anytime it is convenient for you. In order to participate in snow tubing you must be either 42” tall or more, OR 6 years old. There is only one person allowed per tube unless conditions allow for doubles and groups, in which case it will be posted. Nashoba Valley only allows their own tubes on the slopes. The tubing park opens Monday through Friday at 1:00 pm and at 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. All days the park closes at 10:00 pm.
Tickets can be purchased at the tubing ticket booth, cost $33 and are good for a full two hours of tubing. There are no online ticket sales and they are sold on a first come basis. All tubing participants are required to sign a release of liability agreement that are available for download on the Nashoba Valley website, or can be signed once at the park.
Nashoba Valley Tubing Park is located at 179 Great Road in Littleton, MA. For all the information you need to try snow tubing at Nashoba, visit their snow tubing website.
For a full directory of snow tubing parks in New England and North America visit the website database.