Ready to zip

Getting ready to zip! We got a great view of the ravine on this line.

Hocking Hills , located an hour from Columbus, is like an outdoor playground for adults. Activities range from leisurely hikes through Old Man’s Cave and family-friendly overnights at Lake Hope State Park, to ATV rides through the Hocking Hills Nature Trails. Between four years at nearby Ohio University and a fiancé that loves anything outdoors, I’d experienced it all. Well, almost...

In late 2008, the Hocking Hills Canopy Tours brought Ohio its first zipline course. This 1.5-mile trail takes you across 10 ziplines and over five skywalk bridges. Groups of 10 — eight zipliners and two guides — spend three hours gliding from platform to platform and learning little known facts about the Hocking Hills. Could there be a more perfect way to spend an afternoon? I didn't think so, so I signed up my fiancé and I in time to celebrate our two-year anniversary.

When we arrived for the tour, our guides greeted us with such enthusiasm that I was instantly put at ease. After getting into our harness, helmet and brake gloves, we were off for a quick lesson. The guides taught us how to brake—done by pushing down on the zipline cable with one gloved hand—and everyone got a chance to practice. Then, were off to the course.

As excited as I was, I was also a bit nervous. Luckily our first line was a bunny zip. This was a great way to get my feet wet and get comfortable. It was also enough to get me hooked! The next nine lines were all different, due either to the scenery, the length or the speeds you could reach; one even let you take a running start. Along the way we stopped for individual and group pictures, which were available for purchase after the tour, and we rappelled off the final platform. To get a first-hand look at the experience, check out some footage our guides caught:

Looking for an even bigger thrill? Check out this summer’s latest addition, the SuperZip . This quarter-mile zip lets you fly “super hero” style at speeds of up to 50 mph. It’s an extra $20 if you’re doing the Canopy Tour, but I’ve heard it’s well worth it. It may just be my excuse for a trip back!