Anyone here know why all the big green toboggan slides have been dismantled? Any playgrounds where they still exist? I remember the great fun we had as Davis Elementary schoolkids pouring water down ours to create a serviceable sheen of ice we would then slide down on ON OUR FEET, leading to great fun as well as the occasional concussion. Ambulance-chasing lawsuits are probably the reason.
Swallow Cliff in the CCFPD had slides, but for a number of years they were shut down and then a few years ago they were removed. Swallow Cliff forest preserve is at Rt 83 and Rt 45, west of the Palos area.
We have our own toboggan but I think rentals were at minimal cost at Swallow Cliff as long as one had a proper ID. The slides were fun, but that climb up the 117 steps which were built by the CCC in the '30's was brutal as I got older!
Richard S. mentioned skiing and actually long before they built the slides there was a ski jump at Swallow Cliff FP. I think it was erected in the '20's and from a newspaper account years ago it was described as having been trecherous, not for the faint of heart. First time I went out to the SC slides was 1965 and there was no ski jump then; I don't know when it was removed.
That's probably the one I'm thinking of. I only went there once, in the spring, on a field trip with a geology class in college (back in the mid to late 90's). I definitely remember climbing those steps! My friend Brian decided he needed to run up them, and he could barely walk when he was through.
I swear the toboggan run was still standing when we went there, but maybe it was some other structure.
I googled it and found out that 6000 people turned out for the last day of toboganning in 2004. Many walk those stairs for exercise and more than a few do run them. From Rt 83 it looks like your basic prairie but on top of the ridge is the real beauty of the area with hiking and riding trails and naturally cross-country skiing in Winter.
We used to go to Palos to toboggan all the time when I was a kid (we had our own toboggan too). The area around there is popular for geology field trips cos' that's where the continental divide is, as well as the outflow from Lake Chicago - the quarry across the street was always a big destination for trips. I think my parents even met on one of those field trips.
The Palos toboggan run did not charge to go down but had rentals if you needed one. We went there on nights and had a grand time....no matter how cold it was.
Funny, I never heard of anyone getting hurt in those days.
If you try to find the highest point in Chicago with Google, you'll find a lot of contradictions. However, the consensus is that it's somewhere in Beverly. I grew up at 96th and Bell, and we always understood that the highest point was at 96th and Oakley, not at 93rd and Western. Perhaps someone with a good GPS can come up with a good answer.
Never went to Palos Park but we did go to Caldwell Woods when we lived in the area. When we moved to Florida, we gave away our toboggan and it's been pretty underwhelming to read that all the toboggan slides are gone now, victims of possible liability lawsuits.
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the in-city skiing facility that was, briefly, out on Narragansett before it was replaced by the Brickyard Mall. IIRC, it was named Thunder Mountain and it wasn't there very long. Then again, maybe nobody else remembers it.