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Steitz’s toboggan slide cure for winter blues

TonySteitz Antioch daughter Karin9 sJack 6 prepare go down toboggan slide Steitz’s unincorporated Antioch.

Tonya Steitz of Antioch, daughter Karina, 9, and son Jack, 6, prepare to go down the toboggan slide at Steitz’s in unincorporated Antioch.

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SLIDE details

The 120-foot-long toboggan slide at Steitz’s Resort, 25400 W. Bluff Lane, Antioch Township, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. A $10 ticket is good all day (under 6-years-old riders are free). Toboggan rental is $3 an hour, or you can bring your own. For more information, call (847) 395-4050, or visit

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Updated: April 2, 2011 5:39PM

One of winter’s pleasures is speeding down a hill while the wind whips in your face. The sounds of the toboggan or sled careening across the snow and ice fill the air.

And then there’s the laughter that follows a wipe-out or a successful run.

This is a remedy for the winter blues. Repeat as needed at Steitz’s Resort’s famous toboggan slide on Bluff Lake just outside Antioch. Located just off Grass Lake Road west of Route 59, it’s the only toboggan run in Lake County, and one of just a handful in the Chicago area. It’s been in operation since 1940.

“We’ve been going since I was 5 years old,” said Gina Sylvester, 11, of Libertyville, who also likes grabbing a bite to eat in the resort’s restaurant.

“(The slide) is super fast and sort of bumpy. When you go down, you feel like you are flying and then you hit the ice,” she said.

Sometimes it’s not a smooth ride.

“You zip down and then you start to go sideways and you flip over. You definitely get battle scars,” she said laughing.

This is the resort’s 73rd year and is being run by the third generation of Steitzs, with the fourth generation in training.

John Steitz, 45, took over in 1989 from his father, John, who took over from his father, John. Steitz added a recreational vehicle park to the complex that also includes a full-service marina and pier rentals. The restaurant and bar add a lot of charm with antiques and old photographs that tell the history of the resort, Bluff Lake and the Chain O’Lakes.

Actually John and his brother, Jeff, 42, a chemical engineer at Abbott, earned a few battle scars growing up with the toboggan chute in their back yard.

“I really like that aspect that we’ve been here for so long,” he said. Some of the old photographs show hunters and fisherman from the early days.

“The toboggan run is great for parents and grandparents because the kids can go out and they can relax and take in the atmosphere inside,” John Steitz said, “especially the scenic view” from the resorts perch on top of a bluff.

“(Customers) can just take in the beauty of the lake and have the best of both worlds,” he said.

The chute is about 120 feet and goes over the lower drive before emptying onto the lake.

“You get most of your speed at the top,” he said.

“It’s unique what we do here,” he said.

A good cure for the winter doldrums.

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