EAGLES MERE — This winter has been icy cold and perfect for a tradition in Sullivan County that’s been on hiatus for a few years.
The Eagles Mere toboggan slide is under construction this weekend.
For more than 100 years, folks in picturesque Eagles Mere have been turning a frozen lake into a thrilling ride.
As long as the weather is cold enough, volunteers can get down to business on the ice, carving then harvesting all the blocks to make a slide.
The last time the slide was up and running was 2011. People come from all over and wait for hours in the freezing cold for just one exhilarating ride down the toboggan slide.
“It’s pretty exciting when you get on it, it goes really fast down the hill especially when you have a lot of people on the toboggan,” said Jeff Hamilton of Laporte.
Hamilton came to watch all the hard work that goes into making the ice-slide from scratch. Area fire companies do the heavy lifting, taking what nature gives them and eventually, line a steep hill with enough ice to make a wild ride.
“We’re cutting ice and the ice is being pushed down this channel to old machines that load it onto carts,” said Richard Liebert.
George Welch brought the family out to see the operation first-hand.
“It’s a great show, they work very hard, organized, amazing to see,” said Welch.
Block after block slid up the conveyor belt and onto the trailer.
Once all the blocks of ice are out of the lake and on the hill then the finishing touches can be put on the toboggan slide and another year of memories can be made.
“They come up remember this for decades, they talk about when they came up for the slide, how far they went, how cold it was,” added Hamilton.
Depending on the temperatures the slide in Eagles Mere could open as soon as next weekend.