Whether you’re 3 or 103, snow tubing is a popular winter sports event for all demographics.

“Pretty much anyone can enjoy it, you need to be at least 3 to do it (at Hawksnest)” Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawsnest Tubing Park in Seven Devils, said.

It only lasts a few seconds, but those few seconds can create lasting moments on one of the many snow tubing lanes available in the High Country.

Not as physically demanding as skiing or snowboarding and requiring no prior experience, aside from some brief instructions about safety, snow tubing offers a fun and controlled environment, a winter equivalent to a water slide in the summer.

Before one ventures to one of the many snow tubing venues in the High Country, they must make sure they are insulated as best as possible with multiple layers, including gloves and socks that properly fit.

“Pretty much ‘what to wear’ is anything waterproof,” Cottom said. “Anything that’s cotton will absorb water. Long wool socks will help.”

Cottom noted that it’s very possible you might end up covered in snow, thus waterproof clothing is essential to staying warm.

“We’re at a higher elevation than Boone, so it might be windier or colder up here than down there,” Cottom explained.

Goggles are also recommended to make sure you can see ahead and avoid the snow’s reflection of sunlight as well as to not have the wind irritate your eyes.

Buying tickets in advance is also recommended, especially on weekends and holidays when thousands will flock to the mountains.

“Those sessions often sell out,” Cottom said of weekends and holidays.

Those session vary in length from one to two hours, depending on the location. Conditions can also change depending on the time of day. Early and later sessions can offer faster tubing due to the sun’s light being obscured and colder temperatures.

Locations such as Hawksnest or Jonas Ridge in Newland are dedicated snow tubing locations. Appalachian Ski Mtn., Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain also offer snow tubing.

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