Southern Agenda

Life in a Snow Globe

An illustration of two people snowtubing; they are wearing hats and mittens in red and green

Once Hawksnest Snow Tubing’s season opens in late November, each day up to two thousand people will sit in inner tubes, scoot to the starting point, and swoosh down one of thirty snow-slicked runs, cold air turning their squeals into smoke. Now the area’s largest, the park in Seven Devils opened as ski slopes in 1964, adding tubing in 2008. “Everyone loved it, so we stopped skiing,” says Ashley Jones, general manager. Tubing took off, but she cautions tubers against a similar trajectory. “The goal is to not catch air.” And while the trip down the longest run (a thousand feet) lasts twenty seconds, a ticket affords you almost two hours of repeat rides—if you can stand it. “Some people spin the whole way down,” says Clint Byrd, the park’s tubing operations manager. “At the bottom, as they move to go again, they walk sideways or fall over. But they’re laughing.”