Family Friendly?: Yes
Age Range: 8+
Restrictions: Must be between 100 and 280 lbs. Height 48″+. They will allow children ages 8+ but under 100 lbs to ride with an adult as long as the total weight is between 140 and 280 lbs.
Recommendations: There is a descent from the last platform using a descender. This requires you to clip in and trust the device to lower you to the ground. Although these devices are fairly common on zip line courses, some people may find it a bit unnerving.
Refreshing Mountain Camp (RMC) is a very nice facility originally designed for non-denominational religious retreats. They have grown steadily over the years and now boast a variety of fairly large group lodging options, a swimming pool, recreational facilities and two very legitimate canopy/zip line tours. They are located between Lancaster and Reading, PA, easily accessible from Rt. 222 or exit 286 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The day I visited the place was pretty quiet being too early in the season for the summer activities to kick in. I had heard many positive comments about RMC so I decided to check it out with a few friends.
The first impression as you arrive is very good. The camp is nestled in a nice wooded area and has the feel of a traditional summer camp, but updated. The grounds are very well maintained and inviting. We had researched and booked our trip on-line so we had reservations in hand. Their website is attractive and informative. The on-line booking process is intuitive and easy to use. No complaints there. Check-in was quick and the staff was very helpful. We were quickly equipped with some very beefy looking harnesses and zip line trolleys and met our guides before heading out onto the course. Being a faith oriented operation, the atmosphere is decidedly clean-cut and family friendly. Definitely not the place for a rowdy bachelor party!
They actually have two courses on the property. The Challenge Adventure Tour is more of a canopy tour with zip lines than a zip line tour. It appeared to be well maintained and offered a good variety of crossings with 5 zip lines thrown in. We did not have time to do both on our visit but it looks like a worthy activity especially if you are into high crossings and bridges.
After a quick walk up a bridge to the starting platform, our tour began. The first zip line is pretty long (500′ I was told) and a lot of fun. It was not quite as fast as you would think for its length but still a ton of fun. Unlike some zip line tours RMC uses a braking system on their zip lines. It definitely adds a level of confidence that less experienced riders may appreciate. Personally I prefer direct braking using a gloved hand on the cable, but that’s just me.
The tour continues with six more zip lines ranging from 300′ to 800′(based on the lengths listed on the website). All of them are fun and well maintained. A couple of high bridges connect the dots from platform to platform. The tour is definitely high enough to provide a thrill so you should be comfortable at heights of 40+’. However, there is never a moment where you will feel unsafe as the course is well thought out and the guides are attentive. All through our tour the guides were friendly and engaging. You can tell they are used to working with less experienced zip riders, but that’s the way it should be at a facility like this.
The Aerial Excursion Tour is $79 for adults and $67 for kids. However, there are a lot of discounts out there if you take the time to look for them. All total, out tour took a little over 2 hours, but we were all experienced zip liners who had no problem with heights so we moved along quickly. With a group of kids or someone who is a bit tentative, the tour could easily stretch another hour.
For more information or to make a reservation, visit their website at https://refreshingmountain.com/ziplines/ or call 1-888-353-1490. Sizeable discounts are offered to do both tours on the same day so you might want to check that out.
Overall this is a really enjoyable tour and is well worth the trip. Definitely on my recommended list!