If you haven’t been, ziplining is the act of getting all harnessed up, hitching yourself to a long steel cable via a pulley attached to your waist, whispering a plea of mercy to your deity of choice, and then willfully jumping into the abyss. You then go whizzing, sorry, zipping through the air along the cable until you arrive at point B where a trained professional prevents you from making too hasty an introduction to point B. Unclip your pulley from the cable, walk to the next designated jump-off point, and do it all over again. Now, you might be thinking, “Let’s go easy here. Are you suggesting that I not only strap myself onto a steel cable and go Tarzaning among the trees, but that I bring my kid along for the ride?” That’s exactly what I’m suggesting.
Before you stop reading the column, contemplate this; of all the adventure sports that your family can indulge in, ziplining might have the best overall “perceived risk” to “actual risk” ratio out there. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that stirs up as much adrenaline without putting you in the type of risky situation your fight or flight reflexes where designed for. There aren’t many spots in the Portland area where you can take the family for a few hours of laryngitis inducing fun.
Located on Hagg Lake, the Tree to Tree Adventure Park has an abundance of family friendly options. The park not only has a zipline course, but also aerial obstacle courses where kids can rappel, walk across tight ropes and wobbly bridges, even zipline, all while safely harnessed.
There are different obstacle courses depending on arm reach and height. To play on the Children’s Course little ones must be able to reach with hand outstretched 5’, but be no taller than 5’. Admission is $25. The Tweener Course is for bigger kiddos who can reach 5’11″ with their arm outstretched over head. Admission to this course is $35. Children must weigh at least 75lbs to tackle Zip Park. Park admission is $75 for adults and children.
Camp Dakota is another place with options. Located about an hour from Portland, Camp Dakota is 45 acres of camping, paintballing, rock wall climbing, disc golfing, high roping, gold panning, and of course, ziplining adventure.
Kids must weigh at least 60lbs. Camp Dakota offers a Basic three line tour for $25 per person (two trips through 3 basic lines) or a Full Canopy Tour (All 7 ziplines). $60 per person.
If you’re headed for the coast or willing to travel a little further afield, there is High Life Adventures. The new kid on the block, High Life Adventures opened up this summer. Just south of Astoria in the town of Warrenton, the family owned and operated zipline park sits on 30 acres, with a 7- acre lake smack dab in the middle. You zip across the lake a few times and potentially touch it on one decent. Actually, you can get completely doused on this run if you like.
Kids must weigh at least 60 lbs to zip. The cost is $99 for adults and $69 for children under 15.