Zipline tours are popular pursuits at numerous ski resorts along the east coast and in the western mountains. Around the Great Lakes, you head to Michigan’s Boyne Country to find the Heartland’s only zipline tours.
Midwest ski resorts haven’t embraced zipline tours like their brethren east and west, but Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and Wildwood Rush, all within minutes of each other, offer a solid experience of multiple stations and three-hour tours. It’s the only place around the Great Lakes that you’ll find a zipline experience like this.
Zipline courses opened a couple of winters ago at both the Highlands and Mountain have been an instant hit with guests. They operate year round, although you do lose a couple of stations during winter that would interfere with slope operations.
Boyne Mountain's Zipline Adventure encompasses almost a mile at nearly 4,300 feet and drops over 10 stories. It covers 10 stations and takes up to three hours to complete. The Highlands tour features 8 stations and travels 3,350 feet through the trees and across open slopes. The longest zipline at the Highlands is more than 1,350 and travels at speeds up to 25 mph. Boyne Mountain's longest zip is just short of 800 feet. You start at the top of the ski hill at both locations and descend to the base area. The cost is $64 per person for the complete tour.
You can get single rides on the last station, which ends at the base lodge in both instances. The cost is $20 for a single ride and $25 for two at the Highlands, and $20 for two rides at Boyne Mountain. Both offer twin-ziplines so you can race your buddy.
Wildwood Rush, the area’s newest zipline experience, is located near Boyne City, a short distance from Boyne Mountain. More in line with western zipline tours, it’s primarily a canopy tour. Nine stations cover close to a mile-and-a-half in length and it also takes about three hours to complete. There are five “sky” bridges connecting the canopy portion of the tour. Beautiful views of Lake Charlevoix can be seen from the tree platforms. The last zip, a triple-line, is 1,200 feet in length where you can reach speeds of up to 40 mph heading back to the base.
The full canopy tour, all nine stations, runs $75 per person. The triple-line can be ridden by itself and is $20 for one ride or $35 for three.
Michigan’s fall foliage season, one of the best in the nation, will be unfolding over the next few months. It’s a great time to take a zipline tour and enjoy the fall colors up close and personal as you fly through the trees and across the ridges.
Photo: Boyne Mountain