Several Midwest ski resorts are adding a little zip to their attractions, literally. Zip Lines have become a big addition at ski resorts across the country, especially in the western mountains and New England.
They are just catching on in a couple of areas of the Midwest. Ski areas in two Great Lakes states, Michigan and Minnesota, are now offering winter zipline tours.
Less expensive to install than a new lift, these series of cables offer a unique experience as you are harnessed in and attached to the zip cable for a speedy descent of the mountain where you can reach speeds up to 30 mile-per-hour in some cases.
Here's where to find them in the Heartland:
In Michigan: Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, and Mt. Holiday offer a solid experience of multiple stations and tours. Minnesota’s Spirit Mountain in Duluth offers a unique ride down and back up the mountain on its Alpine Coaster; one of only four located in the United States.
Boyne Mountain’s zipline tour encompasses 4,300 feet with 9 stations and takes up to three hours to complete. Boyne Highlands zipline tour features 7 stations and travels 3,350 feet. The cost is $64 per person for the complete guided tour at either resort. You can also get single rides at both resorts; $20 for one ride or $25 for two.
Mt. Holiday, located near Traverse City, offers single rides on twin ziplines in the winter in view of the day lodge. The cost is $15 per ride. It’s by reservation only during the winter.
Sprit Mountain’s Alpine Coaster the Timber Twister races along a track down the mountain reaching speeds of 26 mph. You control the speed over the 3,200-foot track. You glide through the treetops offering wonderful views of Lake Superior and Duluth Harbor. Settle back in your Twister at the bottom and enjoy a comfortable return trip back up the mountain and more time to enjoy those “candy eye” views. Single rider tickets are $9.50, double rider tickets are $14.50, and four-packs $35. The Coaster is open Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday.
Photos: Top -- Spirit Mountain's coaster reaches speeds of 26 mph (Spirit Mountain); Below -- you can just hang out on Boyne Mountain's zipline tour (Boyne Mountain)