If ever a great vacation activity deserved a catchy slogan, it’s this one in spectacular Northern Michigan. This just might be the coolest outdoor adventure you’ll ever imagine, so let’s try to coin something that captures the excitement.
What’s there to do on your Boyne Mountain vacation? Zip.
Yeah, guess you’re right. That could be taken negatively. And in this case, zip—as in Wildwood Rush Zip Line Canopy Tour—is anything but negative. What a shame it would be to be misled and miss out on potentially one of the most breathtaking experiences of your getaway to Mountain Run at Boyne.
About Wildwood Rush Zipline
Wildwood Rush Zip Line Canopy Tour takes you on an excursion through—and above—some of the most beautiful hardwood forests in Michigan. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll hike along trails, cross five plank-and-cable aerial bridges and, of course, “zip” through the treetops in a full-body pulley harness, gliding from platform to platform across nine zip-line runs. The course—a mile-and-a-half of cable in all, the longest in Michigan – is a thrill-seeker’s Shangri-La. And it’s just northwest of Boyne City, an easy, 15-minute drive from your resort in Boyne Falls.
The full tour takes about 3 hours, although mini-tours are an option, too. Either way, the experience is as educational as it is exciting. You’ll learn from your expert guides all about the ecology of the deciduous landscapes adjacent to Young State Park and beautiful Lake Charlevoix. You’ll break for lunch on a platform overlooking the scenic shoreline as well as Boyne City. And your grand finale is an exhilarating triple-line race against two others in your tour group.
The park opened commercially in 2011 after its builders – a couple of outdoor enthusiasts—concluded the public might enjoy the course they initially built for their own enjoyment. Their hunch was right. Though Michigan has more than 10 zip-line courses, Wildwood Rush today is considered one of the premier canopy tours not only in the state but all of the Midwest. It’s engaging, it’s exciting and it’s suitable for anyone in moderately good physical condition not susceptible to panic attacks over heights.
The management discourages participation by anyone with such aversions and also sets restrictions based on weights. You can’t ride the zip-line if you weigh less than 70 pounds or more than 270 pounds. Everyone else is welcome, and you’re as apt to see 50- and even 60-somethings gliding along the zip-lines as younger people.
If you’re not predisposed to panic, you have no reason not to feel safe. The guides are well trained. The half-inch cables can withstand 26,000 pounds of pressure. The harness-pulley system, initially designed for military use, can withstand 19,000 pounds of pressure. And you’re safely tethered whether you’re gliding through the narrow foliage corridors or making your way across one of the bridges.
The height of the cable and the lengths of the runs vary. The highest point on the course is 80 feet. The average height of the cable is 50 feet. As far as length, some runs are as short as 200 feet and best taken at slower speeds because the cable is strung through narrow openings between trees.
But the final run on the course is not one of those. In fact, it’s entirely different from the rest. Runs 1 through 8 go like this: Visitors ride the cable one at a time, waiting for radio clearance from the platform ahead before commencing. Run 9 goes like this: Visitors are locked onto cables three abreast with plenty of room between. The three riders are released at once and race each other—fast—for 1,200 feet. By the end, you’ll have new appreciation for your own adrenaline.
If you love to experience—and learn about—the outdoors, the 15-minute drive from Mountain Run at Boyne is well worth it. Wildwood Rush is so cool that it needs a slogan.
On second thought, maybe not. This is one experience that speaks for itself.