Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center
Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center is located at Riverbend Recreation Area in the Big Oaks Area in Shelter #3. This winter service offers cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment rentals and is open to the general public with rentals provided on a first come, first served basis. Rental fees are paid when equipment is rented on location. Participants can enjoy warm refreshments and a warm fire afterward inside the concession area of Shelter 3.
Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center is open from December through March on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and some holidays from 11 AM to 5 PM, when weather conditions are suitable. Other times may be added as good conditions present themselves. Good snow conditions consist of at least 6 inches of a solid snow base. Check conditions during open hours to check conditions by calling 419-424-1555, or check the Park District’s website calendar for updates.
During good snow conditions, trails are groomed at Riverbend. Trails at Oakwoods Nature Preserve and Litzenberg Memorial Woods are other good parks to explore and are suitable for cross-country skiing. Equipment may be taken to these parks or other areas within Hancock County.
Group Reservations can be made for groups of eight or more during non-public open dates and times. All day rentals are also available. For details, call the HPD office at 419-425-7275 or stop in during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8 AM-4:30 PM except on holidays.
Check Conditions At The Park 419-424-1555
Group Reservations 419-425-7275
‘Night Ski’ cross-country skiing events
The Hancock Park District offers Night Ski events during the snow season, primarily in January and February as long as there are good snow conditions. During Night Ski events, skiers meet at the Riverbend Recreation Area’s Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center. Some areas will be lit by luminaries along the snowy trails of Riverbend. This event is not recommended for first time skiers or for younger children. Participants must be experienced skiers; no pre-registration is required. There is no charge if you provide your own equipment; cost is $10 to rent HPD equipment.
Beginner Cross-Country Ski Workshops
a Hancock Park District Leisure Education Initiative
Beginner Cross-Country Ski Workshops take place on certain Saturday mornings from 9 AM-10:30 AM. Check the Program & Activities Calendar for scheduled workshops. Pre-registration and payments are required at the Hancock Park District office no later than the Friday before each Saturday session. Workshop participants meet at the Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center. HPD will explain and demonstrate the basic ski techniques, such as the proper ways to use ski equipment, how to glide, climb hills, how to get up when you fall down, how to turn around, and how to get into a good rhythm. It is suggested that all participants wear layered clothing, including hats and gloves to keep you warm and dry. Workshops require at least 4-6 inches of a good solid snow base or they will be cancelled.