It’s no secret that North Dakota is a flat place. Flatness does not excite sledding enthusiasts. It might be alright for fans of cross country skiing and snow shoeing, they probably prefer the flat lands. But if you want to find a decent sledding hill in eastern ND, you might have to drive a couple hundred miles. That is, unless you live near the Coteau des Prairies!
On August 16, 1839, the famous map maker and explorer Joseph N. Nicollet wrote in his journal while encamped on the shores of Sprague Lake (just south of present day Rutland): “The head of the Coteau [des Prairies] is very near us. It presents an imposing mass, beautiful to eyes which have seen nothing but plains and rolling plateaus. It is the Alps of this area.” The native of France was obviously dreaming about skiing the slopes of the Coteau des Prairies, or at least sliding with a toboggan. But alas, he would never make it back the the head of the Coteau again, in the winter or otherwise.
On Christmas Eve Day some of the Gordon Phillips Family grandkids and great grandkids took to the sledding hill next to Coteau des Prairies Lodge. It was a beautiful day for sledding at a gorgeous location. We have a beautiful sledding run out the west door of the lodge. It is perfect for kids who have extra energy to burn off on a mild winter day. For advanced sledders and speed freaks, we feature a ‘double black diamond’ run out the east door of the lodge. But beware of the moguls on the north slope, they are actually large rocks!