Thursday, February 10, 2011

What to do in Lake Placid: Toboggan Chute

By Diane Chase


It wasn't so long ago that my children would not venture onto amusement rides alone. Now I am left on the merry-go-round watching while the two of them twist and turn on roller coasters with names like Hurricane and Avalanche. Somehow they convince me that going down the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute will not be the same thing. 





Since I am not the brave one in the family, my daughter lets me know she'll hold me on the way down the Lake Placid Toboggan Chute. My seven-year-old is now comforting me. It isn't a long wait to climb up the 30' high converted ski jump trestle. It is awkward in the beginning, though, as the toboggan is cumbersome. It is crowded enough that we have to hold the sleds as we climb the steps to the landing area. We do not have much of a wait and the attendants are quick to get people settled. We get to the top and wait our turn.

We are tucked into the sled: child, adult, child, adult and given instruction. We are to keep our feet inside the toboggan and hang on. I am having flashes of Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" and wonder if I have second thoughts and try to climb back up, would I also get a boot in the face?
I have a few more questions, thinking I can prolong the inevitable.
People are eagerly waiting for our position. There is no time for idle chitchat. A push start is not necessary. We are nudged to the edge and a second later I am muttering under my breath. My teeth chatter together as I refrain from screaming like the girls preceding us. It is difficult. We are going really fast down an icy chute onto frozen Mirror Lake. Behind me, muffled by outdoor clothes, my daughter sums it up with one word. "Wheeeee!"
The schedule changes weekly so I encourage you to check the North Elba website with the latest hours of operation. For live action fun here is the first  Lake Placid Toboggan run of the 2011 season. 
Two worthwhile tobogganing events on the roster are the Lake Placid Lions Club 45th Annual Toboggan Chute Championship and the Rock 105 Adirondack International Toboggan Championship.
The Lions Club event takes place on February 12, 2010 and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Teams of up to four people take three runs and the team with the farthest run wins. Registration for the event is $15.00/team (includes the toboggan) with no age limit. The one request is that an adult accompany children.
The Rock 105 Adirondack International Toboggan Championship take place February 19th at 4:00 p.m. The fee is $10.00 with all proceeds benefiting the USA Luge Team.
The Lake Placid Toboggan slide is located on Parkside Drive, near the Lake Placid Post Office (and next to the Lake Placid Information Center). Please call the North Elba Park District at 518-523-2591. Admission is $5.00/Adults and $3.00/children and a $5.00 toboggan rental fee.

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