Roaring Camp: Ziplines to bring visitors into redwood canopy

Santa Cruz Sentinel

FELTON — Roaring Camp visitors who have enjoyed winding through the historic redwood forest by foot, bike and historic train will soon have the opportunity to zip through them at heights nearing 150 feet on a series of linking cables and platforms to be constructed this summer in the park’s canopy.

“It’s one of the most beautiful grove of trees I’ve ever seen and to experience them from up in the canopy is going to be such a treat,” said Marc Goddard, one of the partners of GoZip, which is designing the project at Roaring Camp. “There are very few places you can do this.”

Goddard, who owns Truckee-based Bio Bio Expeditions, an international expedition company, has developed zipline projects in Peru and Chile.

Roaring Camp’s latest attraction will include two very different guided canopy tours. It is being designed by GoZip partner Todd Domeck, a Louisville, Ky., engineer who has designed adventure zipline projects all over the world. Domeck, who heads ERi, an adventure experience design company, also builds “challenge courses,” climbing walls and a group climbing structure called the “Tango Tower.”

One of the guided canopy tours at Roaring Camp will provide visitors a sky-high adventure of eight ziplines, bridges and seven platforms. People who hook themselves into the cable will begin on a hill and descend to lower platforms. Controlling their speed with a handlebar device, they could reach speeds up to about 60 miles per hour. That has been tentatively priced at $89.

A second guided tour, about 40 feet off the ground, will be a more educational experience that carries visitors through the history of the forest via ziplines, platforms and footbridges with nets that link to a 300-square-foot platform for educational talks. That will cost around $29.

It is a chance to “get up close and personal” with the redwoods, Goddard said, noting the construction is designed to be safe for trees as well as people.

“The last thing we want is to damage anything or create any controversy,” he said.

There are dozens of ziplines in the U.S. that carry people through both urban and natural settings. A zipline in South Africa is billed as the longest at 6,561 feet and fastest at 100 mph in the world. Just down the road at Mount Hermon Conference Center, a zipline caters to groups and science camp students.

The “redwood experience” has been an international tourist draw for decades, said Paul Nakamoto, director of business development at the 180-acre camp. “We get a tremendous amount of international visitors. The reason they come to see us is because of those redwoods. We wanted them to be able to experience another aspect of our forest.”

# #

IF YOU GO

Go Zip Roaring Camp
WHAT: A 90-minute guided tour through the redwood canopy via ziplines, sky bridges and staircases
HEIGHT: 40-150 feet
TREE TOWER PLATFORMS: 12
LOCATION: Roaring Camp Railroads, Felton
EXPECTED OPENING: October
INFORMATION: www.goziproaringcamp.com

This article was first published here.

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