If you have ever watched a Luge event during the winter Olympics, you cannot help but be fascinated by watching humans being catapulted straight down a lane of pure ice, at freeway speeds, on a tiny sled.
While most of us will never compete in the Olympics, much less in the Luge event, Cleveland Metroparks Tobogganing offers adrenaline-junkies the closest thing to it.
Walking to the toboggan chutes at the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville, I cannot help but notice how many families and children are here. Off in the distance, I hear the “woosh” of toboggans flying across the ice and the giggling screams of children and adults the moment they hit the 70-foot vertical drop at the start of the 700-foot ice chute.
Did I mention that they are going 40-50 miles-per-hour and complete the run in an average of 6.5 seconds? Now, THAT’s fast!
The same people I hear chattering in fear going up the flights of stairs before the trip are the same ones that come off of the toboggans shouting “let’s do it again!”
Since I am recovering from auto accident injuries, my adventurous spirit had to sit on the sidelines, but my boyfriend, David Peters, volunteered for the tough assignment. He only committed to going one time as I teased him about “chickening out.”
The toboggans hold 2-3 people and guests are launched down the two operating chutes intermittently. The sophisticated refrigeration system allows the chutes to operate even when there is no snow.
I barely have time to grab my camera as I see David’s toboggan tipping over the steep drop. It is much like that anxious pause on a roller coaster before all heck breaks loose.
He whizzes by me as the speed detectors clock 45-miles per hour. After the ride, David’s smile beams from one cold red cheek to the other as he exclaims how awesome it is!
The Chalet is the perfect hang-out for those who need to work up the nerve or for parents who need a break from “let’s do it again.” The comfortable seating, a snack bar and a fireplace allow the spectators to watch the action from inside with the large glass windows.
Tobogganing is open daily through mid-March, weather permitting (440-572-9990). Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children (11 and younger). If you are timid, you can purchase one-ride for $6 and pay the difference to upgrade to a full-day ticket if you find yourself saying, “let’s do it again!”