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Take an icy plunge down Chalet Toboggan Chutes

1/1/2009 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Riders prepare to ride down the vertical drop of about 70 feet.
STRONGSVILLE — For those who like to go fast, the only public ice chutes in Ohio are just a short drive away.

Chalet Toboggan Chutes, located in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Mill Stream Run Reservation, features twin refrigerated ice chutes that take riders on a fast ride. This is the 41st season for the chutes, according to Dan Crandall, marketing specialist for Cleveland Metroparks. He added that about 45,000 people ride the chutes in a given season.

Chalet Toboggan Chutes, located in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Mill Stream Run Reservation, features twin refrigerated ice chutes that take riders on a fast downhill experience.
Photos courtesy
of Cleveland Metroparks
Crandall said up to four people at a time can ride on the toboggans, which are provided by the park district. The ride begins with a vertical drop of about 70 feet. The chute is about 700 feet in length, but the ride doesn’t take long.

“It’s quick,” Crandall said, estimating it takes about 12 seconds for the plunge. “You can go up to 50 miles an hour.”

The toboggans glide to the finish and come to a stop, Crandall said.

The chutes are open Thursdays through Sundays during the winter. Because they are refrigerated, the chutes are open regardless of the temperature.

Crandall said Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days and lines can get long. Waits during busier times can be up to 45 minutes. During less crowded times, the wait is typically 10 to 15 minutes, he said.

Between rides, visitors can spend time inside the chalet, which features a fireplace, a main gathering area with a large-screen television, a snack bar, a loft area with video games and indoor restrooms. There also is an outdoor fireplace.

Cleveland Metroparks officials said all toboggan riders must wear gloves or mittens. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to ride and must be accompanied by an adult. Personal toboggans are not allowed at the facility. Weather conditions can result in the closing of the chutes, so it’s a good idea to call ahead if in doubt.

During the coming weekend, special holiday hours are in effect at the chutes. The facility is open Jan. 1-3 from noon to 10:30 p.m. and Jan. 4 from noon to 5 p.m.

For the remainder of the season, through March 8, the facility is open Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 6 to 10:30 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

The daily admission fee is $8 for adults and $6 for children age 11 and younger. The fee includes unlimited rides and use of toboggans for the day. One-time ride tickets also are available for $3.

Season passes to the Chalet Toboggan Chutes are available at a cost of $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 11 and younger, or $100 for a family (up to four people).   

Group discount rates, for 20 or more people, are available for rides during public hours. Groups must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

The Chalet Recreation Area, including the use of the toboggan chutes, also can be rented for private parties during nonpublic hours. 

The Chalet Recreation Area is located at 16200 Valley Parkway in Mill Stream Run Reservation, between state Routes 42 and 82 in Strongsville. For more information and for group discounts/private reservations, call (440) 572-9990.

For more information, including a link to a video of what the ride is like, go to www.clemetparks.com/recre ation/tobogganing/index.asp.

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