The Forge — Lemont Quarries: Experience ropes courses, zip lining, kayaks, laser tag, mountain biking and more at the largest adventure park in the U.S.
Location: The Forge: Lemont Quarries
1001 Main Street
Lemont, IL 60439
Deal for you: Use promo code PARKRIDGE20 at check out (ForgeParks.com) for 20 percent off your adventure.
Their motto: Get out and play. And it’s appropriate, believe me. My brother was in town from Texas, and I took him down to The Forge to test things out for ourselves, and we realized one thing rather quickly: You’d better be ready for a variety of adventures with this new company in the southwest burbs.
The details: You can do a little or you can do a lot. It’s your call. Zipline over quarry lakes, navigate your way through the country’s largest high-ropes challenge courses, rock climb, play laser tag or scavenger games, go kayaking, or hike, run or bike your way through miles of trails with friends and family at The Forge. Seriously, the options seem endless.
Some of the ropes courses — spread across several towers throughout the property — we breezed through. Others we had to work at and strategize a bit in order to conquer. There are plenty of options, so you can take on exactly what you feel comfortable with.
What we did: My brother and I attacked the high-ropes challenge and zipline adventure course, taking on a number of demanding, elevated ropes courses and obstacles, as well as a few ziplines and rock-climbing walls. Some of the ropes courses — spread across several towers throughout the property — we breezed through. Others we had to work at and strategize a bit in order to conquer. There are plenty of options, all visible right in front of you, meaning you take on only what you feel comfortable with. It’s as simple as that. And when you’re done with one tower, you zipline to another and continue to test your will. The final zipline across the lake is a thrill you won’t soon forget.
Safety first: The Forge has a great safety system in place, using an innovative double-click harness, meaning you can’t disconnect a second clamp without initially connecting the first to the cable as you maneuver throughout the ropes course, ziplines and climbing walls. It’s difficult to explain, but brilliant in design, and it creates a real sense of security when you’re a hundred feet off the ground. There are staff members to guide you through the climbing process with an early practice session, and they are stationed at each tower and throughout the grounds in case you need assistance.
Fun for the kids: If you’re children aren’t quite ready for the ropes courses and ziplines, start them out in the Kids Adventure Zone, where kids from ages 3-13 can play on more than 30 ropes-course elements and mini-ziplines to gain confidence and get acclimated. And did we mention the digital escape rooms and scavenger hunts?
Dinner and entertainment: From 3-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, check out their chef-currated meals, drinks and views at Forgefire Adventure Dining, an outdoor restaurant overlooking the water. The Forge also boasts concerts via their Music in the Park series at the end of the property.
One last thing: This would be a unique idea for corporate groups, private parties, field trips and more.