Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Zip Lining at ArborTrek Canopy Adventures
One of the highlights of my trip to Smugglers' Notch Resort was zip lining at ArborTrek Canopy Adventures, located just 2 minutes away from the resort entrance at 1239 Edwards Road in Jeffersonville, VT. With 8 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 2 rappels, the entire tour is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours long. ArborTrek had just opened in December 2010 and operates year-round.
Two tour guides are assigned to each tour and prepare you by helping you strap into your gear, provide you with a helmet and gloves and then take you on a short training course. There were seven people in our group, led by Jon and Marshall, who are exceptional guides. They really look out for your safety, know the surroundings and are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to zip lining.
Since this was my first time going zip lining and I am somewhat afraid of heights, you can bet my heart was beating incredibly fast while waiting to zip through the first line. I quickly realized that there was no need to feel any anxiety. I just took in the gentle breeze and views while zipping along.
I felt very comfortable once I found out that you have control over your speed and when you slow down. Marshall would signal us when to start braking but after the first two zips it felt like second nature to me, like knowing when to brake when you hit a stoplight.
During the training course you learn how to slow down and stop near the end of the platform by extending your left hand back and applying gentle pressure on the cable, but never grabbing it. If you don't make it to the end of the platform, you then apply the "parking brake", where you pull yourself across. I expected to lose my momentum at some point or brake too soon, but it turned out I didn't have to apply the "parking brake" at all!
My favorite zip line had a view of the running brook. I love the longer zip lines, where you don't even see the end of the cable or platform. The longest crossing in the tour is 1,000 feet at about 40 mph, and the highest point is 73 feet. The total length of the zip line tour is 4,635 feet.
The sky bridge is the perfect spot to take a picture. You can bring a small camera with you, as long as it has a secure retaining strap.
Jon and Marshall also did an amazing job of taking pictures. They know which parts of the tour make for great photo opps. After the tour you are able to view a slideshow of the pictures and when you "Like" ArborTrek on facebook, you'll see the pictures posted a few hours later!
Photo credit : Jon, ArborTrek
Photo credit: Marshall, ArborTrek
Another part of the tour is rappelling down, which Jon and Marshall had walked us through step by step.
I had an amazing time during my canopy tour. I don't usually find myself participating in many adventurous activities, but I think this is my new favorite hobby! I can imagine how much fun it would be when everything is winter white and snow-covered, or in the rain, as I hear you go faster!
The Arbor Trek Canopy Tour is $99.95, plus 6% State tax and 1% booking fee. Smuggler's Notch Resort guests receive 10% off. So if you are visiting Smugglers' Notch, I recommend that you don't leave without taking this tour! To learn more about ArborTrek Canopy Adventures, check out arbortrek.com.
Many thanks to Mike for accommodating Rich, O'Nelly and I, and thank you to Jon and Marshall for being such amazing tour guides. Thank you to Rich and O'Nelly for taking great photos throughout the zip line tour.
- Kim Weling