VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As tempting as it may be to go sledding down Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach, a 25-year-old ban prohibits it.
Mount Trashmore was opened in the second half of the 20th century after the city converted a 640,000-ton pile of garbage into the nation’s first landfill park.
The park now encompasses over 160 acres and features two man-made mountains, two lakes, two playgrounds, a skate park and several miles of walking trails.
Sounds like the perfect place for a winter wonderland, right? Well, not really.
The main mountain, Mount Trashmore, is nearly 65 feet high and used to draw crowds every time it snowed in Virginia Beach. In fact, city officials say nearly 5,000 people headed to Mount Trashmore after 11 inches of snow blanketed the area in 1996.
Community members went flying down the mountain on creative sleds including pool toys and trash can lids. But that many people created several safety hazards.
Sledders were flying into each other, fences and even under cars.
Officials say that there were so many injuries, including scrapes and broken bones, that Virginia Beach EMS largely remained on scene for the next hospital transport.
In 1997, sledding on the steepest areas, the north and west slopes, was banned entirely. And three years late, in 2000, sledding down the mountain was banned entirely.
Parks & Recreation officials said the ban is unlikely to ever be lifted. But never says never. Following recent snow events, Virginia Beach Councilman Rocky Holcomb brought up the possibility of bringing sledding back. Read more here.
People in the community didn’t let the ban stop them from enjoying the snow in other places. Dozens found alternative locations to sled including Salem Woods Park.
“We love it,” said Richard Bryant. “The kids are having a blast. When I grew up, we always went to Mount Trashmore and did the same thing but they shut that down. We’re happy to have somewhere we can be close and slide without traveling
Bryant was at the park with his wife, Deborah and their children, Wesley and Elizabeth, who was born in the 2014 blizzard.
Although snow covered the Resort City, many like the Bryants made makeshift sleds to have fun.
“They love to surf so they’re using their boogie boards outside,” said Deborah Bryant.
Others at the park used containers, lids, and floatables to sled. A few did not leave the park until night fell and many had been out at the park since the early morning like Cedric Cubile and his friends.
“I’m excited. No work? No nothing? Can’t go wrong with that one. Can’t go wrong just spend time with my boys in the snow,” he said.
After a long day of sledding, Cubile and his friends left to go eat some Pho but said they could be back on Sunday if the conditions were right.
But with the unpredictable weather the area’s had throughout the Winter, Cubile says he wouldn’t be surprised if the snow is all gone before the weekend’s over.
“We’re in VA! It will probably be summertime tomorrow,” he laughed.
Mount Trashmore Park was closed on Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22.