The Best Ziplines in New England

Bretton Woods Canopy Tour
The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour offers New England's ultimate treetop views.

Kim Knox Beckius

What makes the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at the Omni Mount Washington Resort the most amazing zipline experience in New England? Its 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 in a state known for impressive fall foliage!

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 of the canopy tour experience. 

Candid 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 you might anticipate. Leave your cell phone behind, but bring a small camera that can be tethered to your harness and tucked inside your shirt or jacket.

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 group members several times, don't forget to "look around and understand the environment that you're in" as you're hurtling toward the next platform. He confirms the Canopy Tour is "stunning in the fall."

More of the Best Ziplines in the New England States

Connecticut's Best Zipline: Foxwoods HighFlyer Zipline
Why take a gamble when thrills are a sure bet at Foxwoods Resort Casino's HighFlyer Zipline, which made its debut in 2018. Connecticut's longest zipline whisks you nearly a mile at 60-plus mph speed, from the 350-foot casino rooftop to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum.

Maine's Best Zipline: Adventure Zip Line Tours at Take Flight
Book your guided, two-hour tour of the six exhilarating ziplines at this Kittery, Maine, aerial park. The longest "flight" is 400 feet, and there are climbing and bridge-crossing elements that keep things interesting. Then, when you're done, more than 65 other Aerial Adventure Course challenges await.

Massachusetts' Best Zipline: Zoar Outdoor Zipline Canopy Tour
Brace yourself! The 11 ziplines get faster and faster at this zipline complex high in the trees of Charlemont, Massachusetts. Guides ensure a memorable, three-hour experience that also features two sky bridge crossings and three rappels.

Vermont's Best Zipline: Stowe ZipTour Adventure
Take off from near the summit of Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield, on a crazy-fast series of ziplines. What makes this adventure extra cool is there are twin lines on each zip span, so you can share the experience side-by-side with your favorite adrenaline junkie.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary Bretton Woods Canopy 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.