The thought of flying downhill on a sled will most definitely bring back childhood memories. We used to go sledriding at my aunt and uncle’s house in their backyard where they had a pretty gnarly hill to zoom down. The worst part was, of course, trekking up the giant hill, but it was always worth it. I recently discovered a special kind of sledding known as tobogganing and found a place that has man-made hills too good to pass up. Plus, this activity is not for children only! It’s intense, thrilling, and downright adrenaline-pumping.
These giant toboggan chutes can be found at Mill Stream Run Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks located in Strongsville. The chutes are 700 feet long, with a 70-foot tall drop at a 33-degree angle. You can travel down the chutes as fast as 50 miles per hour! There are many factors that can contribute to how fast you go, including the number of people on your toboggan (you can have up to four riders per toboggan), the weight of your riders (plus the weight of the toboggan, which is 37 pounds), the current humidity, and the current temperature.
Two 20-inch-wide chutes are side-by-side on tracks that are refrigerated with a cooling unit and a pump. We learned from facts that were posted at the site that the pump carries cooled diethylene glycol through an underground piping system to the chutes. The diethylene glycol chills the concrete and allows the water on the surface to freeze. This is what allows riders to glide safely and quickly down the hill!
A group of 6 friends recently visited the Mill Stream Run Reservation to ride the toboggans, and we had such a fun time! The only bad part was the long lines, because we went during a really popular time. But, even then, it was a great time, thanks to the music, the company, and getting to watch all of the other riders fly down the hill as we waited for our turn. Be sure to dress appropriately in warm clothing so you don’t freeze while standing in line!
Ticket prices were very reasonable. Adults cost $12 and children cost $10 for an “all-day” ticket, which allows you to ride as many times as you want. If you just want to hop on once, the cost is $6 per person. We all got the all-day pass, but time didn’t allow us to go very many times, so take crowd size into account when you buy your passes!
Amittedly, we were all a bit nervous to get on the toboggan and zoom down the hill! But we saw kids and adults of all ages going down, and having the time of their lives, so we knew we were in for a thrill! We piled on the toboggans, three riders on each one. We were required to wrap our legs around the riders in front of us and hold on tightly to the handles. Soon, we were released and we were shooting down the icy hill.
The ride is done and over before you know it, but the smiles and laughter last long after. Speed sensors along the way gauge how fast you were going, so we were able to see that our speed was just over 40 miles per hour. It felt like even faster!
After our rides, we relaxed in the chalet located at the bottom of the hill. There are outdoor and indoor fireplaces to warm you up, and there is a concession stand where you can get snacks and hot chocolate. Be sure to make a day of it on these toboggan chutes before winter is over! You can even book a private party and get discounts on small-group rentals!
For more outdoor adventures, Find It Here at Ohio.org.