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Gone are the days you had to set off to some obscure Central American rainforest to get your ziplining fix. Happily for adventurous American travelers, numerous ziplining operations have been cropping up across the country, with one of the newest – and the largest – of the bunch perfectly poised for leaf-peepers looking for a little extra kick with their fall rite of passage. New York Zipline Adventure Tours (www.ziplinenewyork.com) rolled out the first two phases of its three-prong operation at New York’s Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills (one of our Top 10 Fall Foliage Travel Destinations), in early June, with the last – and most anticipated – of its courses scheduled to roll out by late December.
While visitors will have to hold off just a wee bit longer to experience the Zip Rider course – the longest and highest zipline and canopy tour in North America – they can still experience a rush on the only slightly less adrenaline-inducing Mid Mountain Tour until then, which features six individual ziplines, four bridges, and a rappel ($89/person; 2-hour course; recommended for ages 10 and up). There’s also the 60-foot-high Adventure Tower, a family-friendly (though kids must be 4-foot, 2-inches tall) elevated obstacle course that challenges participants to climb and swing their way through a serious of bridges and platforms ($19/person for two trips; averages 30 minutes to complete). All told, the three combined courses will tout nearly 5 miles of ziplines that soar as high as 600 feet above the forest floor, with some individual runs totaling more than 3,000 feet in length.
All tours are led by professionally trained guides who ensure that while cracking jokes and laughter is definitely part of the mix, safety is put at the forefront for each participant. And with the designer and constructor of the site, Canopy Tours, amassing 25 years experience that includes two sister operations in Jamaica and New Hampshire under their belt, you can be rest assured that they have the experience to back up the safety and success of their newest outpost.
Though winter is expected to largely give way to ski bums at Hunter resort, the zipline tours are scheduled to operate year-round. You might just have to couple this year’s shush down the mountainside below with a soaring glide atop the canopy above!
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