ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – If you’re looking for some outdoor thrills this winter Pokagon State Park has you covered.
The Pokagon Toboggan Run officially opened for the season on Friday. It is a wintertime standard for Northeast Indiana families, but it’s uniqueness attracts people from all over. The first day of operation for the 2019 season saw visitors from as far as Florida.
“This is only one of two refrigerated toboggan runs in the Midwest,” said Interpretative Naturalist Nicky Ball.
Families have been going down Pokagon’s toboggan run for more than 80 years now. The track has been refrigerated since 1971. This makes it possible for the run to be open during the milder winter days.
“We put water on the track and the track itself freezes the ice,” said Ball. “We melt and refreeze the track a few times a year just to make sure people have a nice smooth ride.”
A smooth ride that lasts a matter of seconds.
“Up to four people can ride at one time. Our track’s a quarter mile long so you’re on the ride for about 20-30 seconds.”
The toboggans typically go about 30 miles per hour, and even faster with more weight on them. The speed is one of the things that keep tens of thousands of riders coming back year after year.
“This is my third time,” said Betsy Shortz, 7. “It’s really fun to go down the hill and see how fast you go and see if you can go faster than the last time.”
The speed may be thrilling, but it’s not always expected from first time riders.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be as long or as fast as it was,” said Jenny Kremer of Indianapolis.
She was riding the toboggans with her two children Elle, 12, and Ben, 9.
“When you’re going down the steep hill you get a really fast speed and all the wind goes in your face so it’s kind of fun,” said Ben.
The Toboggan Run is open Friday to Sundays through the end of February.
The track is open Fridays 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Park entrance fees are $7 for in-state vehicles, $9 for out-of-state vehicles, and $2 per person on a bus. Toboggans can be rented for $13 per hour.