During my first trip to southeast Ohio a few weeks back, I got to try something I honestly wasn’t sure I’d enjoy: ziplining with the Hocking Hills Canopy Tours
Zipping through a lush canopy of trees was like a nature hike on steroids. I’m not afraid of heights, but I don’t love flying or the feeling of falling. However, I assumed that the guides for the Hocking Hills Canopy Tours were well trained and used to dealing with people new to this adventure, and I was right. I found it reassuring when our guides took us on a “practice zip” and showed us how to brake using just our left hand and some pressure, plus they taught us how to pull ourselves back up onto a platform if we lost momentum (read: chickened out).
After that, they stay with you for the 10 ziplines to launch you off the platform and catch you on the other side if you happen to be going too fast. (I’m proud to say that I only crashed into our guide once.) For the first few rides, I admit that I was shaky. You are suspended from a cable with nothing but a harness supporting you high above the forest floor. But once I got the hang of it, I was able to appreciate the scenery, which includes everything from cliffs and caves to the Hocking River. Also, as you grow more comfortable, the cables get longer and the guides teach you how to make yourself go faster in case you’re feeling brave.
And, starting this month, daredevils can experience the new “SuperZip,” a higher, longer and faster ride, done “superhero style” (facing down) if you so choose.
But if you are afraid of heights, skip the SuperZip and stick with the regular canopy tour. You’ll be only 70 feet off the ground at the highest point, so, in my opinion, it’s worth tackling your fears for a unique three-hour nature tour.
LEFT: What Goes Up Must Come Down
Rappelling at the end of the tour was almost harder than ziplining.