Have you ever challenged yourself to do something outrageous – something that flies in the face of your deep-seated fears? I once got myself attached to a harness down in Florida and parasailed 500 feet into the sky off the back end of a speedboat, with the intention of conquering my acrophobia. It didn’t work – I’m still queasy about heights – but it was truly breathtaking in a good way, and I’m glad that I didn’t chicken out. Up at Hunter Mountain, New York Zipline Adventure Tours offers excitement of a very thrilling nature. For the price of a night on the town, visitors can suspend themselves to a zipline and go soaring down the mountain.
“This is our third summer for Mid-Mountain,” says Adventure Tours rep Amy Amodio, “and the second full winter with the Sky Riders course, as of last December. The company originated in New Hampshire, and we also have one in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Safety is our number-one concern.” She describes the two tours offered by the company as being challenging, fun and educational. “The Mid-Mountain Tour is family-friendly, and has a sort of Swiss Family Robinson feel, as you zip from tree platform to tree platform.”
The three-hour-long tour begins with gearing up and doing basic safety checks. After an explanation of the procedure and a safety briefing, there is a short hike to the beginning of tour, where participants step out onto the footbridge, zip across a stream and onwards. A true canopy tour that flies through the forest on a series of six ziplines, Mid-Mountain is an amazing way to experience the spectacular natural setting with beautiful streams and waterfalls surrounding Hunter Mountain. The tour includes crossing four suspension bridges and a rappel to the ground at the end.
For more extreme activity – the longest, fastest and highest zipline tour in North America and the second-largest in the world – the SkyRider Tour offers three exhilarating hours high above the Catskills on over 4.6 miles of ziplines. SkyRider begins with a scenic chairlift ride or an exciting off-road adventure to the Hunter Mountain Summit Lodge. Zipline Pilot Training School educates guests on pertinent flight and safety information to maximize your zipping experience. The tour includes five unique side-by-side racing ziplines, the first of which sets you soaring on a 3,200-foot cable 600 feet above the valley, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. SkyRider also features a special 500-foot “Burma bridge” option.
At the base of Hunter Mountain, a 60-foot Adventure Tower challenges guests physically and mentally as they make their way through nine different obstacles spiraling up the structure. Each participant has two opportunities to reach the top, and completion times vary. Adventure Tower is open during festivals and on most busy holiday weekends. Call (518) 263-4388 for availability and other information. And be sure to check out the website www.ziplinenewyork.com to get a sense of what a great time you’re in for at New York Zipline Adventure Tours.
All tours are guided by experts who bring a fun aspect to the experience, which takes place rain or shine. Be sure to wear proper protective clothing for the weather on top of Hunter. Some restrictions apply.