Fast, fun, family-friendly!
By Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
Lake Placid Toboggan Chute
What: The authentic, old-style Lake Placid Toboggan Chute (518/523-2591) has been a family-fun winter staple in the two-time Winter Olympics village since the 1960s. A converted wooden trestle-style ski jump fitted with ice-covered chutes sends toboggans zooming up to 1,000 feet across frozen Mirror Lake.
Where: Just off Lake Placid’s Main Street, on Mirror Lake.
When: The lake must be frozen at least 10 inches solid. Typically, that means a season that runs Jan through mid-March. Daily operating hours: 11am-4pm. Weekend additional hours: 7pm-9:30pm.
How much: $5/sled plus $5/adult, $3/child 12 and under. (“These are the old-fashioned long, wooden toboggans, which can hold two to four people. Our family of five needed two sleds, so the total price came to $29.”)
How old: There is no minimum age to ride, but gauge your own child’s interest. (“We saw preschoolers and a few toddlers go down with their parents—some looked more willing than others.”)
How fast: (“You definitely pick up a lot of speed, and it’s so much fun to shoot across the ice at the bottom—you can glide about 900 feet on the frozen lake. The staff wait for one sled to fully come to a stop before the next sled is sent down.”)
Need to Know: It’s first come, first served. On a busy day, they might run out of sleds for a short period of time. The line to the top can be 5 to 20 minutes long, depending on the crowd.
Don’t Forget: Wear snow pants and warm hats, mittens, gaiters and so on. Also, take a bathroom break before you start. (“There are public bathrooms up the hill behind the chute, but you have to leave your sled and there might not be another one available when you return.”)
Verdict: Fabulous blast of winter fun. (“We loved this! It was one of the highlights of our stay in Lake Placid.”)