What is it about ziplining? The speed? The height? The feeling of utter freedom as you, a creature subject to gravity’s laws, fly through the air? Or is it the sense of danger – ‘Will I fall?’ ‘What if the line snaps?’ ‘What if the safety straps or buckles give way?’ ‘What if I hit a tree?’
Well, whatever the attraction, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours is one of the places to go to feed it. They boast not only the first zipline in both Ohio and the midwest, but also that their setup is a genuine canopy tour, with the platforms built around sturdy trees along the line. Each tour is professionally guided, the guides offering not only increased safety, but also tidbits about the local history, ecology and geology! You can even combine two zipline tours; the Canopy Tour and the SuperZip, where you have the option to soar above the ground Superman style at fifty miles per hour! For the younger, smaller adventurer, the Dragonfly Tour – eight zip lines, three bridges, and a sky tunnel made specifically for kids and equipped with a continuous belay system (the first of its kind) so no transferring from cable to cable is needed.
And for the most adventurous, their newest addition is the “X-Tour;” a 2.5 to 3-hour cross-country hybrid course. Fly across the Hocking River (twice!) and into a recessed cave along the line.
Don’t misunderstand, though; for all that ziplining is dedicated to thrills and danger, Hocking Hills is laser-focused on safety. Every course was designed with the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) safety standards in mind; designed to meet and exceed those standards. All courses are inspected from top to bottom roughly every two weeks by specially-trained internal inspectors, and annually by qualified independent inspectors. Each adventurer is required to take and pass Hocking Hills’ Ground School, where participants are instructed in every activity they might have to perform and the guides evaluate their ability to learn and use the safety training. When on the zipline course, everyone is constantly clipped into overhead safety cables; while zipping, the guides have a braking override in case a person is approaching the platforms too quickly. The guides themselves are trained and tested, and must be certified before they are permitted to work on the course.
And, hey, if flying through the air isn’t your thing (and I’m not entirely certain that it’s mine!), they also offer Segway tours; an hour and a half to two hours of guided ground adventure, viewing and learning about the area from the safety of terra firma.