There are two kinds of families that travel. One family scrolls through websites planning their vacation and sees a zipline as a terribly overpriced tourist trap. The other kind of family is mine.
We have ziplined in Catalina, Costa Rica and most recently near Victoria BC. None of us are challenged by heights. None of us feel much of a thrill gliding down the metal cables. None of us would go ziplining here in Los Angeles. It’s a vacation thing for us. It’s a family vacation activity that accomplishes much more than putting the wind in our hair.
Ziplining in Victoria forced us to either get on the shuttle provided or rent a car. We decided to rent a car and ended up with a Ford Taurus that was an unexpected delight. We meandered through small towns and dropped on a local bowling alley for a few games, some poutine and our first taste of pirogues.
Unlike Costa Rica or Catalina the zipline in Sook (near Victoria) isn’t at a dramatically high elevation so the views are limited but still absorbing. We didn’t see any wildlife while on the zipline near Victoria and the last two cables were being repaired. I had a phone call the day before letting us know we’d get a 25% discount if we’d like to keep our reservation.
So then why do families like mine continue to book ziplining as an activity every time it’s available?
It’s not easy to come by a physical activity that will delight four or more people. We went kayaking and three out of four of us loved it, one liked it but had an achy shoulder. There’s silliness to be had on a platform, there are other families to meet, and guides to chat with. If you want to know where the best cheap tacos are in the town you’re visiting talk to a guide. Bowling? Ask your guide. Listen, a concierge can point you to golf, fine dining and shopping but if you want cheap eats and fun places for teens zipline guides will direct you there.
Ziplines are good for the local economy and the environment. In Costa Rica where the rainforest is being replaced with palm trees the ziplines are dependent upon the old growth rainforests to provide scenery. You’ll have a silly fun day with your family while your money keeps old growth forests in demand. In Canada the zipline we visited is on land that might otherwise be logged. We saw a fir-tree estimated to be more than 300 years old. We learned a bit about trees, their bark, the thickness of it and what the scars on a tree trunk may indicate.
If you want to raise environmentalists take them ziplining. It’s a low-key way to encourage environmental stewardship and a reasonably priced way to spend a few hours giggling with them.