Prove your humanity

This story was originally published February 7, 2014

2021 Note: This season, there are new safety protocols at Boyce Park because of Covid — you have to wear a mask, the county is limiting the number of tubers, and you’ll need to buy your tickets in advance, online.


If you want to feel like a kid again, consider hopping on an inner tube and sliding down a snowy mountain. That was Ben Sopcak’s strategy the other day. The Oakmont man brought his four-year-old niece to Allegheny County’s Boyce Park, which makes its own snow for skiing, boarding and tubing.

“I used to ski here when I was about her age,” Sopcak said. “I haven’t been here in years, and now I’m back to (age) two.”

LISTEN: “For a Frosty Good Time, Try Snow Tubing”

The same afternoon, five-year-old Max and dad Joe Braun took advantage of a winter storm warning that kept many people away from the slopes.

“This is our first time here, actually,” the elder Braun said, while his son lobbed snowballs at him. “We came one time before and it was so crowded we couldn’t get a pass.”

A group of four students from University of Pittsburgh-McKeesport also were new to Boyce—and, being natives of India, new to snowtubing.  Again and again, they lined up across the top of the hill to race against one another down the slopes. The snowtubes get up to about 25 miles per hour.

“It seemed steep kind of, so, the first time we were scared, but after that, it was fun,” said one of the students, Swaknil Desai.

Desai was kind enough to—gently—offer this reporter a push.

Here are some other spots for tubing in our region: