Let It Slide, the Old-Fashioned Way

This 80-year-old attraction in Burnet Woods has drawn in several generations of families with its historic appeal.
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Photograph by Andrew Doench

There are plenty of playgrounds in Burnet Woods, but they’re almost no match for the timeless allure of an 80-year-old slide carved into the stairs near the park’s Trailside Nature Center. Built in 1940 as part of a series of local WPA projects, the slide has drawn in generations of families looking for a bit of old-fashioned fun. “The Cincinnati Park Board has greatly benefitted from projects launched during the Great Depression,” says Michael George, the Park Naturalist who oversees the Burnet Woods Trailside Nature Center. At some points in its history the slide has been coated with epoxy resin to make for a smoother ride, though today cardboard is going to be your best friend. (George says there are no immediate plans to re-coat the slide.) You’ll likely find leftover pieces of it hiding in the grass surrounding the slide. “Some purists insist on going down on their bottoms,” says George, while others swear that the key is wax paper. A word of caution to those wishing to take the plunge: Hold on tight. Even unpainted, this thing is no joke; we were shocked by how tall it was in-person. Don’t be surprised if you walk away with a few scraped knuckles and knees in pursuit of a thrill.

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