Just imagine yourself flying through the Boreal forest. Soaring with an unnatural weightless feeling through the tall trees, and seeing the forest from a perspective that is normally reserved for the birds. Well you can do more than just imagine it with the new Zip Line Canopy Tours located at Elk Ridge Resort, south of Waskesiu. This wonderful seasonal attraction is new to the area, this being their first year in operation at Elk Ridge, though you may have heard of the popular Eco Adventure Zip Lines in Cypress Hills.
I was so excited when we had booked our voyage through the trees, the day just couldn’t come fast enough. When it was finally upon us, we took the pleasant drive up to Elk Ridge early so we could take a look at the beautiful site and fill out the forms. Upon arriving we discovered that they even have an outdoor rock climbing wall, if there hadn’t already been a bunch of children enjoying climbing, I probably would have signed up to climb on it myself until our zip time. When it came time for our zip we were introduced to our canopy guides and our fellow group members, and got ourselves strapped into our harnesses and helmets.
After the formalities and precautions were taken care of, we all piled into some multi-passenger carts, in which we were taken into the forest past Elk Ridges beautiful golf course greens, here we found the platform for our first zip. We were connected to the platform and cables via our harnesses, and once we made the assent into the trees there wasn’t a moment that we weren’t attached to something. I felt very safe despite the height we were at, our guides watched over us diligently.
The first line is approximately 200 ft . Once I got to the top of the first platform, all I felt was anticipation. So when our guide asked us, “who’s first?” my hand was up in the air just at fast as I could get it there. Much to my pleasure I got to be the first one in our group to experience this crazy unnatural feeling. I must add, that I’m pretty sure I did NOT scream! Though I can’t say the same for the entire group. The second zip line was twice as long, over 400 ft, and then the rest were varying in length after that.
The next two hours were filled exhilaration and adrenaline. I never would have thought that I’d get to see our beautiful forest in such an amazing way. We were even lucky enough to see some wildlife, there were a couple deer hanging around one platform, and they didn’t seem too worried about the crazy humans flying through the air so near to them. At one point our areal path took us right beside a section of the golf course, and we were able to say hello to the golfers enjoying their day on the course. I think they seemed to agree with the deer about the “crazy humans” bit.
After becoming accustomed to the feeling of launching off platforms, I was surprised to find out how nerve racking the inclined bridges were for me. A couple of the platforms were joined via hanging walkways. These bridges got steeper and more ladder-like as you neared the next platform, and as you got to the top the guide snapped a really neat picture. All throughout the tour our guides took pictures for us, which are all available after the tour for a small fee, definitely worth it. The last zip line was the best one in my opinion, because on that one we were allowed to let go and hang upside-down while we zipped! We eventually ended where we started, the last platform being conveniently located where we signed in and got our gear. If I ever have the opportunity to experience this again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. Likewise, if the chance ever comes to you, grab it!