By Nathan Ham
This winter has been a great one so far for Hawksnest. In its 12th year of snow tubing, Hawksnest has taken advantage of a cold and snowy winter so far to offer some of the best snow tubing anywhere in the United States.
“It has been awesome so far, if it keeps going the way it has, this will be one of the better years we’ve ever had. Snow tubing continues to grow for us,” said Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawksnest.
Hawksnest has been in business for over 50 years and first opened as a ski slope in 1964. After deciding to close the slopes for skiing in 2007, snow tubing was quick to take off.
The snow tubing park in Seven Devils is the second largest park in the country and the largest in the south.
“The only tubing park I know that’s bigger is Chip Perfect’s near Indianapolis that does it the way we do,” Cottom said. “They don’t really do it as big as we do it out west. I guess they’re all skiers out there.
Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Indiana offers a 1,200-foot tubing lane. Tubing lanes at Hawksnest range from 400 feet to 1,000 feet.
Hawksnest has four different areas for snow tubing with over 30 lanes and has three conveyors for riders to return to the top of the hill without having to walk up the slope.
“Each one is a little bit different than the other one. You get a variety so it’s not always the same ride every time,” said Cottom.
Each lane is groomed with similar equipment that would be found on a traditional ski slope, just at a smaller scale to keep the lanes properly groomed for tubers.
In addition to snow tubing, Hawksnest offers winter zipline tours and has a full service lounge with food, drinks, a fireplace and three levels of decking for people to take in some terrific mountain views.
Cottom says they currently employ between 75 and 80 people for numerous services at Hawksnest.
As winter continues, Hawksnest will see a good mixture of visitors, ranging from travelers from Florida, Tennessee and other parts of the Southeast to local snow tubers in the High Country that can’t wait to take advantage of the great snow conditions.
“It’s always wise to buy tickets online for the weekend, some sessions will sell out, especially on Saturday,” said Cottom.
Ticket sales are limited to avoid having overcrowded conditions on the tubing lanes during each session. When tickets are sold out, Hawksnest typically has a few hundred people on the slopes.
Cottom added that he hopes the weather will cooperate for them to keep the snow tubing lanes open through mid-March.
To purchase tickets and find out more about snow tubing and ziplining at Hawksnest, visit their website at https://hawksnesttubing.com/.