Nashoba Valley in Westford features New England’s largest snow tubing park, with lighted runs for night tubing.
Photo Credit : Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
The first inflatable tire was patented in the mid-1800s. By century’s end, inner tubes were common equipment on bicycles, and before long on cars as well. By the early 1940s the use of inner tubes as a recreational flotation device had been chronicled in a Life photo essay. History seems not to have recorded the advent of snow tubing, but it seems like a safe assumption that it didn’t take long for summer tubing enthusiasts to realize that there was no need to deflate when the leaves fell. Inner tubes make for speedy sledding, with built-in shock absorbers — and serious hops. Today, specialized snow tubes (with modern luxuries like handles) are readily available, and many ski areas have dedicated snow tubing areas. Here are a few of our favorite destinations for snow tubing in MA.
Weekend tubing is all the rage at Pittsfield’s Bousquet Mountain, where the five-chute snow tubing park serves up 450 feet of downhill fun, complete with a magic-carpet lift that will have you back up top and ready to go again in no time. Passes are sold in two-hour increments, so you’ll have plenty of time to test the terrain.
Depending on the weather, you’ll find somewhere between six and 12 dedicated tubing lanes at Amesbury Sports Park in Amesbury, including some of the steepest in all of New England. But fear not: The between-runs hike back to the top is eliminated by a conveyor-belt lift and a handle-tow lift. Nighttime snow tubing under the lights is a particular thrill.
Two-hour sessions on the 450-foot tubing lanes in Berkshire East’s Beastly Tubing Park in Charlemont are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, so on busy days it pays to arrive a bit early. With a lift to zip you back to the top, you’ll be amazed how many runs you can pack into a single session. The Children’s Center offers slopeside fun that caters specifically to the young ones, too.
Located in Westford, less than an hour outside Boston, the Tubing Park at Nashoba Valley can get pretty busy, even with 18 lanes available. Two-hour passes are available individually or in discounted six-packs. This is New England’s largest snow tubing venue, complete with four lifts, an on-site lodge, and professionally sculpted chutes that provide a good dose of variation from one run to the next. Stay late for some night tubing under the lights.
Whether you opt for a two-hour tubing session or spring for one of the reasonably priced season passes, the eight tubing lanes on Great Barrington’s Butternut Mountain make for a fantastic weekend snow tubing destination. There’s a dedicated lift to keep you on the slopes, plus all the amenities of the larger ski area nearby.
SEE MORE:5 Ways to Have Fun in the Berkshires in Winter
One of the area’s oldest ski areas (established 1939), Ski Ward in Shrewsbury features eight lanes and two lifts all winter long. But the season isn’t entirely dictated by Mother Nature: Since 2010, Ski Ward has also offered year-round tube slides, for those who prefer to practice their techniques in shorts and shades.
What are your favorite locations for snow tubing in MA?
This post was first published in 2019 and has been updated.