Holiday Valley, NY
Family Friendly?: Yes
Age Range: Ages 7+
Restrictions: Under 265 lbs
Recommendations: This facility is built in sections so you can control the amount of difficulty.
The Sky High Aerial Adventure Park at Holiday Valley in western New York is not really focused on zip lines. However, they have built a fun canopy tour course that includes some very unique zip lines, so we just couldn’t resist including them in our reviews!
First, let me say that Holiday Valley is a beautiful resort that is very well maintained. The staff is friendly and helpful – they honestly seem happy to have you there.
As an added bonus, Ellicottville is just down the street. It is one of the nicest “ski” towns in the east and a really fun place to hang out year-round. OK, enough of the love-fest, what about the course?
Reservations are required for the Aerial Adventure Park (as they call the course). They have an on-line reservation form, but I was not able to find the Aerial Park products. It looks like it is more set up for booking lodging. Even though the lodging looks very nice, I was planning a day trip so I just called. The phone staff is accommodating so it wasn’t a big deal to get a reservation.
The course defies description in a linear sense as it is actually a collection of self guided courses of varying difficulty. It is made up of 13 separate sections of varying difficulty. You may pick and choose the ones that best fit your ability/comfort level or do all of them. Since it is unlikely that any two people would do it exactly the same way, I will just give a general overview. They have some very imaginative bridges and crossing challenges that run the gamut from cakewalk to challenging. I saw some elements here that I have never seen before so it kept my interest for the entire session. This is a great facility for families as you can have a mix of Mr Rogers and Rambo personalities and still enjoy it together. Think of it as a really cool vertical playground in the trees.
As I said at the beginning, this place isn’t focused on zip lines, but they have a good mix from low kiddie lines to longer zips in the 350′ range with some good height. What really sets Sky High apart are the novelty zip lines. They are short, but include some fun variations like zipping while standing on a snowboard or a wooden timber that is connected to the zip line. Kids will love them (and adults too). The series of 6 traditional zips that return you to the base area are long enough to satisfy most zip line aficionados.
The price tag is $49 and it is a very good value. It is simply a fun way to spend half a day climbing around in the tree tops with just enough zip action to keep it interesting.
Holiday Valley has very nice lodging right at the base and Ellicottville has many choices for lodging and dining. They also have a mountain coaster and golf available at the resort. Reservations are required on weekends/holidays and suggested midweek. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call 716-699-HIGH. Their website is http://www.holidayvalley.com/