Month: December 2017

Zip Lining in Vermont

Zip Lining in Vermont

After my sister showed me pictures of a recent stay she had in Stowe, we knew we had to stay there on our New England trip. When you think of New England, Stowe is what you picture in your mind’s eye – rolling hills covered with colorful trees and the quintessential steeple standing proud just daring tourists to eff with it. While we were excited to relax and take in all the beauty, we wanted adventure as well. Being there in the shoulder season made that a bit of a challenge, but one we were able to overcome.

While I’m sure Stowe Ski Resort has excellent zip lines, we were extremely disappointed when we found out they closed the weekend prior to our arrival. That disappointment quickly turned to excitement when we found out about a company called Arbortrek that operates zip line adventures just over the hill from Stowe at Smuggler’s Notch.

Speaking of notch, this company is top-notch (see what I did there?). They operate canopy adventures year round; rain, snow, or shine. The only things they close down for are wind and lightning. If you’re there in winter time, you can combine your zip line adventure with skiing, while summer visitors can enjoy hiking, canoeing, biking, disc golfing, and segway tours. In addition to zip line tours, Arbortrek also has a treetop obstacle course and a climbing adventure course. We chose to just do the zip line; and I’m glad we did, because although it was not yet winter, I was freezing my balls off.

There are three different zip line packages: Arbor’s Wild Ride ($99.95), Arbor’s Wild Winter Ride ($87.50), and Arbor’s Express ($65.00). Arbor’s Wild Ride is the main attraction and includes 8 zip lines ranging from 150 to 1,000 feet in length, 2 sky bridges, 2 rappels, and lasts 2.5 to 3 hours depending upon how many people are on the tour. The latter two are only available November to April and offer shorter variations of Arbor’s Wild Ride for those that don’t want to brave the cold for that long. We opted for the full Arobor’s Wild Ride and loved every bit of it, despite the cold.

Arbor’s Wild Ride

For those afraid of heights, let me put you at ease. I hate heights. However, Arbortrek’s staff does a good job of instilling confidence. The first thing you do is go over safety and have a class on how to properly zip line. They have the equivalent of a bunny hill near their office where they allow you to practice before they take you up to the actual course. Being one of the least coordinated people I know, I can tell you with ease that if I can do it, you can do it as well.

Arbortrek provides all the equipment needed for this adventure. And they have two guides accompanying you the whole time. The guides explain and demonstrate the safety procedures throughout the whole tour. My favorite being that with two points of contact, you are never not attached to a cable.

While we’re on the topic of guides, these guys hire some great people. The tour guides were knowledgeable not only about zip lining, but about the vegetation in the local area. That may not be the most exciting subject to all, but it was interesting to learn about the kind of trees used for zip lining and why. Also, since Kendra took a liking to the Sugar Maple (and is now on a quest to find some in Utah to put in our new yard) she was able to get a lot of her questions answered about them. Turns out they can grow in Utah’s climate as well. So I’m sure I’ll be planting some next spring.

This was my first time zip lining, and though it’s not quite as breath taking as paragliding or canyoning, I can say that this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It is pretty exhilarating once you get going, especially on the longer lines. But rather than bore you with a bunch of adjectives, I’m just going to leave you with some pictures. And if you’re interested in booking your own zip line adventure, please click here. Please let us know how your adventure goes in the comments.


P.S. The drive from Stowe up to Smuggler’s Notch is breathtaking, despite being colder than a witch’s titty. We were lucky enough to catch a couple pics of the mountain tops contrasted with the fall colors with some pretty ominous storm clouds moving over. We heard there are some pretty cool hikes that start up here. Unfortunately we hadn’t packed for temperatures quite so low, but we’d love to go back and explore more. Hopefully you’ll be more prepared than we were.

Despite looking like a walkway, this is actually the road. It get’s a little sketchy… make sure you have a fully functioning horn.