The Best Zipline in New England

Bretton Woods Canopy Tour Lets You Fly Through the Trees in Every Season

Bretton Woods Canopy Tour
© Kim Knox Beckius

What makes the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at the Omni Mount Washington Resort the most amazing zipline experience in New England? Location, location, location--in the breathtaking White Mountains of New Hampshire. Plus, the safety of the course's redundant dual-cable construction, the reassurance and good humor of well-trained Canopy Tour guides and the impressive fact that this wild sky ride operates winter, spring, summer and fall: What a way to leaf peep!

There are longer ziplining courses in New Hampshire, but for pure exhilaration and scenic splendor, the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is your best bet. See what it's like to soar through the treetops of an old-growth forest in this video from my July 2010 canopy tour adventure. 

Canopy Tour Advice

I'll admit: I was the chicken in my ziplining tour group! To make matters worse, I slipped on a loose rock while hiking between ziplines and bloodied and muddied myself. Still, this middle-aged mom was proud that she conquered her nerves and took on this three-and-a-half-hour course, which features two sky bridges, three rappels and 10 ziplines.

The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour's signature zipline, known as the K2, runs 900 feet at a height of 165 feet above the valley floor. If you have a serious fear of heights, this is definitely not an adventure for you. To zipline, you must be at least 12 years old and weigh between 90 and 250 pounds. There are a few other restrictions, but essentially, "Anybody can do it," said Bretton Woods Ski Area Director Chris Ellms. Reservations, which are required, may be made by calling 603-278-4ZIP (4947).

A few words of advice: Wear sturdy hiking shoes (or boots in winter): There's more walking between ziplines than I anticipated. Bring a small camera that can be tethered to your harness and tucked inside your shirt or jacket. I shot still images and video with my Panasonic Lumix.

There's an outhouse halfway through the tour, but be sure to use the restrooms at the Bretton Woods Base Lodge before you depart for ground school. When you reach the Williwaw Racing Zip at the end of the course, tilt your head as far away from the line as you can. Trust your guides. Laugh at their jokes. And, as Ellms reminded me several times, don't forget to "look around and understand the environment that you're in" as you're catapulting toward the next platform. He says the Canopy Tour is "stunning in the fall."

Special thanks to Bretton Woods Canopy Tour guide Kevin Fraser for shooting video footage as he zipped along the K2.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tour admission for the purpose of reviewing the experience. While it has not influenced this review, believes in full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.

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