LEMONT, Ill. — The Forge: Lemont Quarries (The Forge), a 300-acre outdoor adventure park 22 miles from downtown Chicago, is set to open on July 17. Situated on historically significant land in the southwest suburb of Lemont, the purpose-driven park will feature a variety of activities for all ages and abilities. It includes the Eight Towers Adventure, the largest aerial adventure course in North America, four over-water zip lines, mountain biking skills courses and pump tracks, flatwater paddlesports including kayaking, canoeing and pedal boats, a dedicated kids’ zone, a bouldering zone, 5 miles of running, biking and walking trails, as well as food service, a beer garden and amphitheater for concerts.
“We’re thrilled to officially open The Forge: Lemont Quarries and bring these unique outdoor adventures to locals and visitors alike,” said Chris Gladwin, co-founder. “It was important for us to create attractions with various challenges and routes to ensure each visit offers new, engaging experiences.”
Regardless of age or skillset, The Forge provides a plethora of exhilarating activities for every type of adventurer — available to book ahead now at forgeparks.com. Guests can purchase all-access day passes or individual activity passes for paddlesports, mountain biking, the kids zone or tactical laser tag and AR adventure games. Additionally, The Forge has Founding Member Annual Memberships, for a limited time, featuring unlimited access to all activities in the park, special discounts and members-only benefits for adults, youth and families.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to build a completely original and unique adventure park right in my own backyard,” said Jeremie Bacon, co-founder. “As a resident of Lemont, I truly appreciate the historical significance of this area, and our team is dedicated to preserving, restoring and conserving the natural landscape while providing a very special, memorable visit for our guests.”
In addition to The Forge’s dedication to offering exhilarating experiences for guests, the park is committed to educational opportunities for the community and beyond. The Forge has plans to host field trips, team development programs, instruction and certification sessions. The park is also creating volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups through the Friends of The Forge volunteer program, dedicated to the restoration and beautification of the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area.
Guests who undoubtedly work up an appetite can stop at The Foundry — the main gathering area situated in the heart of the park. Featuring outdoor seating for 150 guests, The Foundry is a convenient on-the-go market with healthy food options to fuel guests throughout the day. The open-air concept will serve a full lineup of beverages, including On The Ropes, an exclusive craft beer created in collaboration with Lemont’s own Pollyanna Brewery. The Forge will also offer Forgefire Adventure Dining, an unforgettable outdoor dining experience overlooking The Forge Quarry available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October.
To ensure the well-being of guests and team members, The Forge will be implementing measures in accordance with the best practices and safety guidelines adopted by the outdoor recreation industry as well as guidelines presented by the state of Illinois and CDC. The team is committed to a variety of evidence-based strategies to keep guests healthy while enjoying the outdoors, including adhering to physical distancing guidelines, using personal protective equipment at all times, practicing proper hygiene and sanitation and disinfecting common and high-traffic areas. In addition, reservations must be made for all activities, to ensure physical distancing can take place throughout the park.
About The Forge: Lemont Quarries
The Forge: Lemont Quarries is the brainchild of two Chicago-tech entrepreneurs, Chris Gladwin and Jeremie Bacon — close friends who share a passion for outdoor recreation. They met through their work on a nonprofit board and bonded over their shared love of tech, philanthropy and outdoor recreation. Later combining their entrepreneurial and recreational passions, they conceptualized the idea for The Forge. The pair teamed up with their third co-founder, Bart Loethen, to set the idea into motion, bringing authentic, purpose-driven, outdoor experiences for all ages and abilities to their own backyard through a one-of-a-kind 300-acre adventure park. The adventure park was developed as a public-private partnership between The Village of Lemont, Lemont Township and The Forge, the company behind the adventure park.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries offers engaging outdoor recreational activities that exhilarate, educate and entertain adventurers of all ages and abilities. From ropes courses, zip lines and rock-climbing towers, to flatwater paddling, running, mountain biking and hiking trails, the parks seek to provide a community-focused, authentic outdoor experience for urban and suburban audiences. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Hours of operation are subject to change seasonally.