Harness secure. Hands on the trolley. Heart pounding.
You hear the words over the guide’s walkie-talkie: “Clear, clear, clear.”
It’s time to take the leap — literally and figuratively — although some might need a little push. Before you know it, you are soaring through the treetops — eye-to-eye with the birds.
The rush of ziplining is unmistakable.
A bit of bravery and a thirst for adventure is all you need to tackle ziplining. Most full ziplining tours — about 10 lines in length — take a minimum of two hours to complete. Shorter tours are also available at many zipline facilities. Reservations are not always necessary, but they are helpful if you want to zip at a specific time.
Whether it’s a kid-friendly course, a scenic canopy tour, or an adrenaline-inducing SuperZip — think Superman in a harness — Ohio is chock full of zipline adventures.
And whether it’s a last-blast-of-summer excursion or you want to hold off until the trees are showing off their fall foliage, you don’t have to travel far from home to have an adventure of a lifetime.
🌟 HOCKING HILLS CANOPY TOURS
The accolades are plentiful and well deserved including three-time “Best Outdoor Adventure in Ohio” (Ohio Magazine), one of “The Best Ziplines in America” (USA Today) and the SuperZip being ranked in the “Top Ten Ziplines in the World” (discoverychannel.com).
Nestled in the tranquil Hocking Hills region, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours is anything but tame with some zippers reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour. That’s not to say you can’t take in the beauty of the surroundings including rolling hills and the scenic Hocking River. Guides also share tidbits about the region and its native inhabitants of both the plant and animal variety. Children as young as 5 can brave the pint-sized DragonFly Zipline Adventure while adrenaline junkies young and old can go higher, longer and faster on the X-Tour. If that wasn’t enough, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours also offers Off-Road Segway Adventures to enable guests to hike the Hocking Hills in style and the Rockbridge Encounter, a guided expedition to a natural geological bridge.
Where: 10714 Jackson St., Rockbridge
Guests: DragonFly Zipline Adventure for kids ages 5-12 (35-140 pounds); Original Canopy Tour and The X-Tour for guests 10 and older and 70-250 pounds. SuperZip for guests 8 and older.
Pricing: Ranging from $29 for the DragonFly to $110 for a SuperZip/Zipline Tour Package, which includes a Canopy or X-Tour and the high-flying SuperZip.
🌟 WILD ZIPLINE SAFARI
A world of adventure awaits and no passport is needed at the Wild Zipline Safari in Southeast Ohio. If you have a passion for wildlife, this is a not-to-be-missed experience as the Zipline Safari gives guests a birds-eye view as they zip over two lakes and two pastures at the 10,000-acre conservation facility in Cumberland. Reclaimed strip-mining land is now home to camels, cheetahs, three species of giraffes, greater one-horned Asian rhinos and Grevy’s zebra – a species with fewer than 3,000 remaining in the wild – just to name a few. While many other zipline facilities take you through heavily wooded terrain, the Wild Zipline Safari enables guests to take in the expansive views of the home of rare and endangered species from around the world. Guides don’t only aid in the ziplining, but also offer information about the many animals that call the Wilds home.
Where: 14000 International Road, Cumberland
Guests: Ages 10 and up between 70-250 pounds. Children ages 10-11 must be accompanied by an adult.
Pricing: The Overlook Tour (five lines) is $54 while both the Zipline Safari and Sunset Tour (10 lines) are $84. Kids 15 and younger zip half price Monday through Friday with a full-price adult fare.
🌟 OZONE ZIPLINE ADVENTURES
Closer to home, Ozone Zipline Adventures is located at YMCA Camp Kern, a familiar overnight location for area school children and scouts alike. Opened in 2009, more than 50,000 visitors have soared over the canopies of the Little Miami River Valley. In addition to four zipline tour options – ranging from five to 11 lines – there are also special events like Full Moon Night Zipping, Zipping from Zombies as well as Hike & Zip and Horse Ride & Zip packages.
Where: 5291 State Route 350, Oregonia
Guests: Ages 10 years or older between 80-260 pounds.
Pricing: Tours range in length and price from $55 for five lines and six sky bridges to $110 for 11 lines and eight sky bridges. Midweek specials, military, scout and youth group discounts are available.
3 MORE OHIO ZIPLINING ADVENTURES
ZipZone Outdoor Adventures (Columbus)
The newest adventure destination in central Ohio is a guided zipline tour through the treetops of Camp Mary Orton. Experience Columbus from a totally new perspective as you travel across sky bridges and glide over ravines and streams. The ZipZone Canopy Tour is open to adventurers as young as 7 and weighing 50 pounds and up to 270 pounds. And with five trails and more than 60 different challenges, the new Adventure Park also offers family fun.
Markin Farms Zipline Adventures (West Liberty)
The West Liberty zipline center, nestled on a 90-acre farm, offers a 13-zip canopy tour for those 7 and older with the optional addition of the thrilling Extreme Zipline. Young adventure seekers don’t need to miss out on the thrills as the Logan County facility also has a Junior Zipline course for those ages 2-6.
Soaring Cliffs (Rockbridge)
With the tallest zipline in Ohio — 200 feet off the forest floor — Soaring Cliffs, in Hocking Hills, provides a serious rush for even the most diehard adventure seekers. The Beast — their biggest zip — earns its name at a quarter-of-a-mile long. A unique feature of this facility is its fully automated hand-free braking system. From sandstone cliffs to waterfalls, guides take guests on a unique 10-zip journey through the property’s 250 picturesque acres.