The First Zip Line Canopy Tour in the Berkshires
A Typical Trip
Your lead guide zips first to each platform and then each guest in your party is clipped in, one at a time by the other guide who lets you know when it's okay to zip. Then you're off! As you pick up speed, the forest canopy opens up before you and you feel the exhilaration of the wind whipping by your face.
As you approach the far platform, the lead guide signals you to brake or to keep coming so you reach the tree at a controlled speed. Before you're unclipped from the zipline, your guide clips you into the belay loop on the tree so you're always clipped in at height. While you're watching your friends come zipping in behind you, check out the views out over the Deerfield River Valley and the northern Berkshires, the forest around you and that feeling of adventure you've just rekindled!
What's a typical trip like?
You should arrive at our base about 15 minutes before your start time to register and get ready. When you enter our base, our guides and base staff will help you register. You will be asked to sign a waiver of liability (minors will need to sign their own and have a parent/guardian sign it as well) and we will check to ensure that you have proper footwear and clothing, aren't wearing any dangling jewelry and are wearing your hair in a way that keeps it from being an entaglement hazard.
After you've registered, we will help you get into and properly fit your harness and helmet. Then it's up to the practice zip!
A short hike from the base, our practice zip gives you a chance to get comfortable with zipping, braking and self-rescue on a short, low zip line. Once everyone is checked out and able to safely zip, our guides will take you up to the vehicles that will transport you to the top of the course.
A 10-minute 4x4 ride brings you half a mile and 500 feet vertically uphill to the start of the course where a short hike leads to the first take-off platform. The first zip is slow and short to give you a chance to get acclimated to flying through the trees. The second zip leads to a spectacular view of the Deerfield River Valley and the northern Berkshires as you perch over the edge of the ridge on a 100+ year old pine tree. As you travel down the course, the zips get longer and faster.
We stop for a water break after the first section of the course.
A rappel at the end of the top section of the course leads to a water break and a short downhill hike to the start of the next section. The lower course consists of sky bridges and longer zips that culminate your adventure in the trees.
A downhill hike leads back to our base where you can share stories and memories of the trip and look at photos of yourself zipping just moments before.
How long does a zip line canopy tour take?
The average tour takes 3 hours including registration and the 4 x 4 ride to the top of the course.
Is it safe?
Every adventure activity has inherent risks, but we manage those risks by providing top-quality gear, a zip line course designed and built by an Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) certified vendor and highly trained staff whose primary goal is your wellbeing. Our course is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and we inspect our course and our equipment daily.
Who can go on a zip line canopy tour?
Zip line canopy tours are open to anyone age 10 or up. Participants should be able to hike a short distance downhill and should be in reasonable physical shape. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Canopy tours are great for families, groups of friends, office groups, scouts and others. We have a minimum weight limit of 70 lbs and a maximum of 250 lbs. Since zip lining is gravity driven, we must adhere to these weight limits strictly for the safety of our guests. We reserve the option to weigh guests when they arrive to determine eligibility for the canopy tour. We can not allow pregnant women to zip.
Each trip time can accommodate groups of 8 or fewer guests. For groups of more than 8 guests, please call our reservations office at 800-532-7483 and a reservationist will be happy to help find some trip times that can accommdate your party.
All zip line participants take part in a ground school before getting onto the actual canopy tour. At the ground school, participants must demonstrate the ability to hand brake, self rescue and follow directions from their guides before being allowed on the canopy tour itself.
Zoar Outdoor can not be responsible for supervision of minors when they are not actively participating in our programs. At all time, supervision of minors is the responsibility of the group leaders, parents or guardians.
The use of recreational drugs or alcohol is prohibited on all trips. If you arrive at Zoar Outdoor under the influence, you will be prohibited from participating in the day’s activity and no refund will be given.
How high in the trees is the course?
The course starts at ground level and reaches a maximum height of about 50 feet in the tallest trees. We start off gradually with short zip lines and lower platforms, working into the longer zip lines as the course progresses down the ridge.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the season, but avoid loose clothing that could tangle in ropes or other gear. Skirts should be avoided. In late fall or winter months, it is better to come with too many articles of clothing than to come with not enough. We go in the rain, so come prepared with rain gear if needed.
Late Fall or Winter Wear
- Hat or balaclava that will fit under a climbing helmet
- Wool or Polypropylene long underwear top and bottom
- Insulated ski jacket or layers of fleece with a weatherproof shell
- Wool or Fleece socks
- Ski pants
- Ski goggles
- Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours will provide you with gloves to wear
Spring & Summer Wear
- Close-toed shoes (hiking boots or sturdy sneakers) For your safety, no sandals or flip flops will be permitted.
- Light jacket, fleece top, or sweater
- Rain Jacket with hood
- Light pants
- Comfortable longer shorts (chaffing from the harness could occur with short shorts)
- Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours will provide you with gloves to wear
- Spaghetti Strap shirts not recommended.
You should remove any dangling jewelry and tie long hair back. You should also remove all items from your pockets before going on the tour, we will not go back to obtain any articles lost along the course. Please leave valuables in the car while you're on the tour. We have a keybox where we would be happy to keep your car keys until you are off the tour.
Can I bring my camera?
Yes, cameras are fine on the canopy tour but you should have a short lanyard attached to them.
Do you go in any weather?
We zip rain or shine. The two weather conditions that cause us to cancel tours are excessive wind and lightning. In any case you should show up for your tour. Due to the unreliability of weather forecasts in the Berkshires we do not cancel until just before a tour if we need to cancel. In the event of cancellation we will try to get you on another tour the same day or we will give you a full refund.