Taking to the Shoots

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos


Taking to the Shoots

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM EDT

Orchard Park, N.Y. (WKBW)- It's a Western New York tradition that has been around for decades and it's unique to this area.

"The Chestnut Ridge Toboggan shoots have been around since the 1940's and are the only free toboggan shoots of its kind in New York State," Erie County Deputy Commissioner of Parks Daniel Glowacki said.

It's still going strong with record crowds over the holiday.

"Very crowded, a couple thousand people," Glowacki said.

One of the people tobogganing was Channel 7's very own Elizabeth Carey and her beautiful family. She even took some video. Although the ridge still loads of family fun, the toboggan shoots have changed over the years.

"If you look behind me you can see. The old timers will tell you when they were open air they were enclosed in the late 1960's and refurbished a couple years ago," Glowacki said.

Glowacki said the lack of snow the last couple of years has closed the toboggan shoots. Although the weather is a winter wonderland now, temperatures are supposed to rise into the forties next week.

"To have good tobogganing conditions you need 6 to 8 inches of snow. When you go down you are riding a track and that track has to packed with snow," Glowacki said.

If tobogganing isn't your thing, you can also watch from the Chestnut Park Casino at the top of the hill. There, you can stay nice and toasty inside but also enjoy a great view.

"We have two grand fire places were people can warm up. There is a concession stand or you can bring your own snacks inside the casino," Glowacki said.

This is free fun for the entire family, making the absolute best of these cold Buffalo winters.

You can sled seven days a week but the toboggan shoots are open Friday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.