Exploring the Carolinian forests like never before through a 2 and 1/2 hour zip line canopy tour.
As we walked into the woodlands, we relished the shade beneath the verdant overhang of broad-leaf deciduous trees that are characteristic of Ontario’s Carolinian forest in Port Dover Ontario. Despite coming off a heavy night of drinking (due to the town’s storied Friday the 13th celebrations) we rallied to answer the call of adventure.
Tucked away off the shores of Lake Eerie—perhaps the most under appreciated of the five great lakes—we found ourselves at Long Point-Eco Adventures, ready to take our first crack at zip lining.
We had spent the summer traveling throughout Ontario, maintaining a certain level of adventure in all our weekend endeavors. However once we got up into the tress we knew this would be our best yet. There was something inherently different about zip lining, being guarded by the forest and suspended in the sky.
The first time I pushed off from the treetop platform, I was met with a rush of nervous excitement like I have never experienced before. I have leapt from cliffs, rafted rapids, and even scaled mountains, but this was something new entirely. Zip lining is, quite literally, a suspension of reality. In a series of short bursts and an adrenaline-packed few seconds shooting through the forest, you get a taste of human flight like a wild animal swinging from the vines.
For us, the first couple zips were all about getting comfortable on the lines, learning to control our speed and settling into that sweet spot where we could simply let ourselves go.
You learn not to fear the overarching branches from rows of ash, birch and hickory trees; their thick leaves put your end platform out of site. You stop looking down at the wetlands that, at times, sit over 50ft below. You simply become one with nature and that, even more than the speed and the rush, is undoubtedly the best part.
Before long we were flying through the jungle-like canopy in a euphoric state of child-like glee, hopping from one tree fort to the next. One by one we flew, our screams of excitement echoing as we sent ourselves soaring through the sky once again.
Eight zips, each one more thrilling than the last, made for a full-on day. After completing a 40ft foot rappel at the finish, our first zip lining experience was in the books. We talked over each other in heated excitement, no longer feeling the bags and beads of heavy sweat from the night before. We jokingly asked our guide for a place to grab a beer around here. Sure enough, peaking through the thick forest, down a two-lane dirt road sat Burning Kiln Winery. Upon locking eyes on their giant patio and tasting options, we had to pinch ourselves to make sure this oasis was not a mirage. We all looked at one another with eager eyes as if we just knew that “zip & sip” was about to become a thing. The perfect end to a perfect day spent flying high though the forest.
About the author: Michael was hooked on travel at the age of 16 after spending a week playing soccer and eating roti in rural Trinidad. He maintains his best purchase to date was renting a stilt home for himself in a small fishing village outside Hong Kong. Michael currently works with the Intrepid Marketing Team in Canada, living life one hashtag at a time. Follow Mikey on Twitter /// Instagram.
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