Hocking Hills Ziplining
Columbus Parent returned to the font of real teen wisdom with Olentangy Liberty High School student Mitch Wagner, 15, to get the lowdown on a day trip to Hocking Hills where he and his family partook of ziplining over the forest canopy.
They have 10 zip lines, with different length lines and varying speeds. From the time we checked in to the time we finished, it lasted about three hours. The actual ziplining lasted about two hours. I loved flying through the trees and, to make it better, my guides were hilarious. This was very enjoyable, even better than I expected.
It is not challenging, rather fun. If you do as they instruct, it is not hard to do. I personally was not scared at all. But my younger sister, who is 12, was. She got over it after a zip or two. But our guides told us stories about how they have had children and adults who get on the first platform and are too scared to go, so they climb off and don't do it at all.
First, schedule your tour early in the morning - preferably to be the first group if you can. We were the first group out, and it was great, because unlike some groups behind us, we didn't have to wait on anyone. Second, take some bug spray. Third, take a small camera with you that you can hook it to your body or zip inside a pocket. They have a pro taking photos on the tour, but they're pretty expensive to buy, so just take your own. Lastly, consider doing a fall or night tour. I loved the experience, and we went when there were no leaves on the trees. I bet it's only better with colorful leaves, or at night, which is something new they're starting this year.
The Super Zip was a blast! It is separate from the Canopy Tour, set up as two lines so you can race if you want. The lines are a quarter-mile long and you can get up to speeds of about 50 mph. What makes it really fun is that you can go down harnessed by your stomach, so you're flying like a superhero. Note: You do have to walk up three bridges or several flights of stairs to go up there.
I love heights and crazy things, so I wasn't scared. But while we were there, a younger girl about 10 or so was terrified once she got harnessed and to the edge, and she could not ride. She had to climb down the stairs. The instructors said that happens maybe once or twice a week. But yes, the tower is 85 feet, which is pretty high, and it can be intimidating to some.
Yes - lay down. For those who are scared, they have a sitting-up option. But laying down is what makes the Super Zip so fun. Also, keep your eyes open (even though they will water).
I highly recommend the Super Zip/Canopy Tour Package, which costs $105. It's the best way to fully enjoy everything this place offers. (And though I know it's expensive, I have to say that paying $20 more for an extra Super Zip is worth as many chores as you have to do.)