ArborTrek Canopy Adventures News & Events
Travel + Leisure lists ArborTrek Smugglers' Notch as one of the "World's Coolest Ziplines"
SMUGGLERS' NOTCH, VERMONT ZIP LINE CANOPY TOUR: Travel + Lesiure Magazine, well know for its destination advice, travel tips, and best of guides, recently spotlighted the "World's Coolest Ziplines." Guess who made the list?
"We're very excited to be considered among the 'World's Coolest Ziplines'," remarked ArborTrek President, Mike Smith. "The recognition is validation that our approach of using top quality materials, investing heavily in our guides and guide training, and focusing heavily on the participant experience is noticed."
Smith is quick to note that the industry isn't what it was 18 years ago when he entered the market. Smith, who formerly worked for S.T.E.P.S., Inc., a leading builder of zip line canopy tours, has been on zip lines all over the World. "I try to get out and participate in 30-40 other tours each year, say Smith. "Some builders shun away from going on other builder's tour. I can't stay away. I love experiencing other courses, travelling through new environments, and observing how other companies differentiate themselves. There are some really inspiring and fun courses out there. I just wish I could do more."
Smith started building canopy tours with S.T.E.P.S., Inc. when the Detroit economy went under in 2004. "We had been operating and building challenge courses for years. When the auto industry failed, it was time to get out of Detroit. We had a lot of staff who were looking for work and we were inspired to do something different... something big. The tours we built in 2005 in Ketchikan, Alaska and Austin, Texas were among the first built in the United States. They were both built on amazing pieces of property and remain among my favorite today. While they are not the highest, furthest, or fastest tours on the market, they tell a story of the land and they immerse the rider in the environment in a way that is unmatched by other tours. We've carried that idea over to our zip line canopy tour here in Vermont. It's what makes us different. It's not enough to thrill people with high speed. Customer's want more. They want to escape to a different place."
ArborTrek's zip line canopy tour at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Northern Vermont includes 8 zip lines, 2 sky bridges, and 2 rappels. More importantly it covers some amazing terrain with spectacular views of the Green Mountains. The tour travels along a mountain stream surrounded by sugar maples, paper birch, beech, poplar, and eastern hemlock. The Eastern Hemlock is the dominant species in the area. Currently threatened by the hemlock wooly adelgid, a sap-sucking bug accidentally introduced to the U.S. from Asia nearly one hundred years ago, hemlocks, especially in the southern and central appalachian mountains are being killed off at an alarming pace. The adelgid has spread as far as Southern Vermont. "Educating people about our changing environment and the plight of the eastern hemlock is an important component of the tour," shares Smith. "Hemlocks provide important habitat. The loss of the hemlocks will significanty change carbon cycles in those areas heavily infested."
The ArborTrek staff work with a local arborist and closely monitor the health of the forest around the canopy tour. "We're not selling an amusement park ride," comments Smith, "We're selling the opportunity to experience nature and life from a different perspective. I think that's what makes us unique."
Zip line canopy tours are offered year-round by reservation. For more information, visit www.arbortrek.com or call (802) 644-9300.