Kids at sled hill

Beech Mountain has opened a second sled hill to accommodate additional children while the state’s rules pertaining to outdoor gatherings remains in place.

BEECH MOUNTAIN — The Town of Beech Mountain has opened a second sled hill to help encourage social distancing and keep the maximum capacity of kids on the hill to 50. Both hills are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The second sled hill is located behind the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, right in the center of town. Masks are required while on the hill, and the town has implemented a 50-person max capacity on each hill to help limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as to follow the governor’s orders concerning outdoor gatherings.

“We’re trying to keep within the governor’s orders. Outdoor capacity is 50 people at an outdoor setting. To try and help reduce those numbers and scatter people about, that’s why we opened up the second hill,” Sean Royall of Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation said.

The new hill also comes equipped its own snow gun to allow for the making of snow when Mother Nature does not provide the soft, wintery substance.

“We were able to open right before Christmas,” Royall said. “The hill is open, and every opportunity we have temperature and weather wise, we will be making snow on that hill and the orginal hill.”

The sledding hills are operated by Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department. The hill is supervised by safety personnel from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and select holidays, weather permitting.

Children younger than the age of 12 are allowed to use the hill, along with responsible adults and parents who are accompanying preschoolers. Beech Mountain Resort offers downhill winter fun for teenagers, adults and children alike, as well.

According to the town’s website, plastic sleds are required on the hill. Folks may bring their own or purchase or rent one at one of the three stores within walking distance of the sled hill. Additional parking is available at the Bark Park, with WiFi and restrooms available at the Visitors Center. Portajohns are also available on site. Folks are encouraged to call (800) 468-5506 to receive live updates on sledding conditions.

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