Snow Trails adds glow tubing nights

PHOTO SUBMITTED People enjoy glow tubing with colorful lights at Snow Trails, Mansfield.

The recent cold and snow might not be to everybody’s liking, but outdoor enthusiasts looking for a new experience might want to try glow tubing.

By traveling an hour or so southeast of Seneca County, snow lovers can slide down hills on tubes at Snow Trails Winter Resort, Mansfield.

This is the first weekend of five glow tubing weekends this winter.

Snow Trails General Manager Scott Crislip said they started glow tubing, which is a nighttime version of tubing, three years ago.

“The first year we had one, and it was very successful,” he said. “Then last year, we put three of them on the schedule.”

PHOTO SUBMITTED People enjoy glow tubing with colorful lights at Snow Trails, Mansfield.

This year, five weekends of glow tubing are planned. Today is the last night of the first weekend. Other weekends are Jan. 19-21, Feb. 2-4, Feb. 9-11 and March 2-4. Each evening begins at 5 p.m., but ending times vary, depending on other activities such as night skiing taking place on the hills. Friday and Saturday nights last until between midnight and 2 a.m., while Sunday evenings end at 9:30 p.m. He suggested checking the website, www.snowtrails.com for the latest information.

“We turn off the lights on the tubing hill and light it with LED lights and flashing lights,” Crislip said. “Every year, we get a little bit more creative on it.

“It’s kind of a neat little twist to tubing,” he said. “We saw it in a ski area out west and we thought we would try it. It’s the only one in Ohio we know of.”

Tubers ride to the bottom of the hill and then stand on a conveyor system “kind of like a people mover at the airports” that take them back to the top of the hill, he said.

“There’s no climbing back to the top,” he said.

People of all ages enjoy tubing, Crislip said. Children’s tubes are smaller, but there are no age or height restrictions. Adult supervision is required.

“There’s no experience necessary, and it’s for all ages — children to grandparents,” he said.

Adults cannot hold children on their laps, but they can link tubes.

The tubing hill has seven lanes that stretch 1,100 feet from top, beginning with a 100-foot vertical drop down the first 500 feet, and ending with a mellow 600 feet of run-out to the bottom.

Lanes have a groomed center surface with snow banks on each side, running from top to bottom. Tubers can choose from a variety of lanes with different types of rollers and surface conditions that make a tube go at moderate speeds or faster.

The $25-per-person admission fee ($15 for children ages 5 and younger) includes two hours of tubing on the lanes, use of a snow tube and the lift, plus a few extras.

“We give out trinkets such as bracelets you crack open and wear,” he said.

A disc jockey plays music at the base of the hill some nights.

“We just kind of make a nice, fun atmosphere,” he said. “We have small tubing lodge for hot chocolate, snacks and stuff like that. We also have a patio with picnic tables and a fire pit.”

The method of reserving a two-hour time slot is changing this year, Crislip.

“Online purchases are required,” he said. “Because of the popularity of it, people were waiting in long lines.”

He said the resort wanted to alleviate lines.

Instead, tickets go on sale six days in advance of each scheduled day, and there’s a limited number of tickets available.

“We sell them in two-hour increments,” he said.

In addition to glow tubing, Snow Trails offers skiing and snowboarding, and daytime tubing.