By Marissa Parra

CHICAGO (CBS) — On Friday, a new outdoor center is bringing adventure to new heights in a socially distant way.

CBS 2’s Marissa Parra has the story from Lemont.

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In a time where the pandemic is closing doors, Lemont’s new outdoor adventure center is opening its doors.

The Forge: Lemont Quarries is the brainchild of Chris Gladwin and his two co-founders. But their vision, of course, didn’t include COVID-19.

“What we have out here is the ability for people to do things in a safe way in the COVID environment,” said Gladwin. “It did affect us. It made construction more challenging. One of our vendors in the factory had a case of COVID so they had to deal with that.”

Temperature checks and masks at the construction site didn’t prevent them from opening on time to provide over five miles of hiking trails and over 300 acres for zip lining, mountain biking, kayaking and rope courses that he touts as among the tallest in the world.

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“Those two there, one is called the Skyscraper Tower on the left, it’s the tallest ropes tower in the world at 120 feet tall. It’s designed after the Sears Tower in Chicago,” Gladwin said.

The design is also a nod to the proximity and historical link the quarry has to Chicago.

“This is where the rock for the Water Tower Place came from,” Gladwin said. “And after they quarried it, it filled with water that is some of the cleanest water in Illinois.”

Clean is the theme they’re trying to keep, claiming rigorous sanitizing routines under guidance from epidemiologists and the Illinois Department of Health. The Forge: Lemont Quarry is free to visit and pay to play. It’s recommended visitors bringing gloves, and of course a mask if you come out.

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