Fun at The Forge: Lemont Quarries

By Debra Flanagan, Publisher March 12, 2024

When my family was invited to experience The Forge: Lemont Quarries, the plan was for my husband to accompany my eleven year old on the Eight Towers Adventure, while I kept my feet firmly on the ground, took pictures, and winced with worry. However, when we arrived and my son asked if I was going to join him on the largest aerial adventure in the world, I didn't want to let on that I was terrified and risk my fear rubbing off on him. I also cannot stand the idea of my kids thinking there are things my husband can do, that I can't. Therefore, I decided I would join them - at my own pace.  

First thing that everyone, who is thinking about conquering the Eight Towers Adventure, should know is that they use a Smart Safe belay system, such that, while you only need one clip to connect your harness to the ropes course, you have two, and only one can be removed at a time. This was an incredible relief to me. I have been on smaller ropes courses with my kids where we could not disconnect our harness from the ropes course at any time. The idea, that my eleven year old would need to frequently unhook and re-hook himself to different lines, scared me to death. Once I saw how their system worked, I was completely comfortable.  

Second thing you should know is that there are routes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced, and they are marked as such. There are also guides on the equipment that are there to help you when you get stuck, and to answer people like me when we need reassurance - "Am I doing this right?"

The third thing I think is important to know, is that you can Rent-a-Guide to assist your group or chaperone children under 14 if you don't want to climb with them. We would have visited The Forge much sooner had I known about this.

Nevertheless, while I could not keep up with my husband and son, I was able to face my fears and climb to the top of one of the towers, rappel down, and then took the stairway up the Skyscraper Tower (my upper body was spent!) From a platform 74 feet up in the air, I then took the zipline 1,100 feet across the lake below! It was amazing! It did not feel like falling. Rather, it felt like floating. It certainly helped that there was a bar/grill on the other end, but honestly, I would have turned around and done it over and over again if I could have.  

The guide who does the safety check before you go down the zipline will warn you, that as you get to the bottom and see a hockey puck shape on the line, you should lean back and bend your neck to the left. You will feel a bit of a jolt as you connect with the system that ultimately pulls you in at the bottom. It is good to be able to expect this if you've never been on a zipline like this before.

Lastly, the grip gloves they give you were invaluable. We had brought some gloves from home with us, but you really need gloves with the right flexibility and friction protection.  

While there is so much more to do at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, from live music to paddle sports and biking, and I urge you to check it all out, I wanted to provide a little insight into what is probably the most intimidating attraction. If I can do it - so can you!

Save up to 37%