Strap on a safety harness and prepare to scream at Hocking Peaks Adventure Park. This full-service outdoor attraction on St. Rt. 664 just outside of Logan, Ohio, near the Hocking Hills State Park has something to offer both thrill seekers and families. A year of preparation went into the designing and acquisition of the aerial elements which dot the landscape of this over 35 acres natural playground.
The zip-lining course will be one of the largest and most intricate in the nations as the final phases are completed. A family style course, designed to both train adults before hitting the high wire, and for children up to age 14 is the first stop on the nearly two hour excursion into the tree canopy. A course suited for teens is the second step in preparing to dangle high above the ground on the ultimate zipline adventure. In addition to the standard ziplines strung between trees at other zipline complexes, Hocking Peaks Adventure Parks extends the experience to a whole new level with moving aerial elements and obstacles.
After completing all of the necessary paperwork to climb onto the platform, which includes stating your age and weight, the only downside to the whole experience, “zippers” take the plunge from a stationary platform. Unlike other facilities, the guide doesn’t just “hook you up” and say “go.”The highly trained guides teach participants how to work the safety straps, clips and the all important break mechanism.
Upon arrival to the adventure park, novices will surely experience at least a twinge of apprehension, but it soon vanishes as a relationship of trust is quickly built with the park guides. Understanding how the harness and safety system works definitely sets a mind to ease while dangling at least 40 feet from the ground. T
“We wanted to go a step further during the experience than many other zipline courses,” Hocking Peaks Adventure Park course manager, Chuck Adams stated. “You don’t get the full experience of zip-lining if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing, and feel at least somewhat in control of your body while you’re up there.”
The heights and speed of each zipline vary, adding to the thrill of not knowing what to expect next when completing each stage of the course.
Even the most graceful among us may feel a bit luck a duck out of water when first attempting to traverse the floating tunnels, wacky moving suspended boards and sky-high Pogo sticks just to get to the next blessed stationary wood platform. A mixture of short and long ziplines weave around the aerial obstacles, keeping the course both interesting and challenging. Participants as young as four and as seasoned as 69 years of age have completed the course with both nerves and protruding body parts still intact.
“I didn’t know if I was going to move onto the adult challenge course or not, after finally making it through the teenage/training part,” New Plymouth resident, Candace Campbell stated in a nervous yet excited voice after reaching the ground. “Once you are up there, you’re kinda committed,” Campbell laughed.
As “Mega-Zip” is in the final stages of production, which will allow participants the opportunity to strap on a harness “Superman” style and swish through the air at speeds expected to hit up to 100 miles per hour along the nearly one mile zipline. In addition to the zipline attractions, OGO balls, ATV obstacles courses, observation and rappelling towers, ATV gold, ATV pinball and of course concessions and a gift shop are all a part of this massive outdoor park.
“Our plans for the park keep growing, it is exciting planning and designing whatever will come next,” Adams stated. “Some of the attractions here will be not among the largest in North America, but the first or only, in some cases.”
OGO balls are balls are quite intriguing massive spheres which participants climb into and roll down a large hill and around or through obstacles. The ATV obstacles course will include tilting and sinking bridges, among other yet to be revealed elements. ATV golf and pinball courses involve moving large weighted balls to holes and around revolving obstacles. Cabins and camping will eventually become a part of the package at this Hocking Hills region attraction. Currently, the park owners operate lodging facilities nearby, and offer “Stay and Play” packages for visitors.
Sources used for this article include personal experience, interviews and the Hocking Peaks Adventure Park website.