The Vertical Trek – Roundtop Mountain Resort
Updated 1/25/14 – We enjoyed Roundtop Mountain Resorts Vertical Trek zip line tour so much a few years ago that we decided to do it again – it is worth a repeat. This tour is completely hidden in the trees on the mountainside so don’t be fooled when you first pull in. There are a couple of smaller zip lines near the base area but they are part of Roundtop’s Adventure Package, but they are not a good indication of the adventure that awaits above!
We booked our reservation on-line which was really convenient. One little quirk – you need to select the date before you can see if there are any spaces available. Until you do that, it will appear that they are sold out for the day – which is usually not the case. The website had lots of pictures and a video so we had an idea that this would be good.
Our guides were ready and waiting upon arrival and they helped us get fitted with helmets and harnesses. After a relaxing chairlift ride to the top of the mountain and a thorough safety presentation, we were faced with the first zip lines. Let me tell you, this thing is for real! The first lines were over 300 feet long and ended on a tower about 40′ high. You control your own speed, so unlike many tours you are really involved. After the first zip line, you use a net tube and a taco net to descend from the tower. If you are into photography, the view from just behind the the takeoff for these zips as well as the platform after the tube net on the landing tower are great photo spots.
After the first zip line, there was a series of elements on the side of a cliff including swinging bridges, a cable with ”vines” to hold onto and a really cool Tarzan swing (yes they encourage a good yell from everyone). This area really feels wild and it is hard to believe that you are at a ski resort. Then came my favorite part – a long zip line that leaves from the cliff face. It’s really a thrill to run off the edge and fly through the trees over 40′ up. That zip line ends at a very high platform connected by a swinging bridge to another zip line. After that, the course settles into a series of fairly long zip lines, a couple of short sections of boulder hopping and another interesting feature or two.
When it was all said and done, the Vertical Trek took about 3 hours and we enjoyed every second of it. The guides were personable and very safety conscious. The price tag is $68.00 and it was worth every penny! I definitely recommend it if you like outdoor adventure. Be sure to bring some bug spray as the majority of the Trek is in the woods and a clip-on water bottle will be appreciated on hot days. The Trek is open by reservation from late May until early November.
Roundtop Mountain Resort also offers a number of other summer activities. If you like weird sports, try the OGO Balls – 11 foot inflatable balls that you crawl inside and then roll down the snow tubing runs. They also have some great family activities clustered around the base area and offer the ability to add unlimited use of those activities for only $20.00 with your paid Trek. I suggest reserving an early Trek (10 am or 11 am) and then enjoy the other activities after your Trek. The OGO Ball alone is worth the extra Jackson. They also added a sluice system where you can purchase bags of mining rough and find fossils or gem stones. This was clearly designed for kids but I get the impression that the adults were enjoying it more than they might admit. Every bag is guaranteed to contain roughly the same amount of stuff avoiding disappointment for multi-kid families.
There is a small bar on their lodge deck and the food court serves a small but varied menu that is very reasonably priced for what you get. Plus, the view from the huge deck is nice so it is a really nice place to hang out for a while. It was a great way to wrap up the day.
For off-site dining I can personally recommend Pakha’s Thai House in Dillsburg. To be honest, the place looks like a bit of a dump from the outside, but the food is excellent and the interior is much nicer than you would expect when you pull into the parking lot. You will be pleasantly surprised.
The Trek staff also recommended Allen’s Eatery in Lewisberry for simple pizza and sandwiches and Neato Burrito in Mechanicsburg for, you guessed it, burritos. We had tried Neato Burrito on a prior visit and you can get a tasty burrito the size of your arm for less than $7.50. Nothing fancy, but good and very filling. But neither of these places has much atmosphere so don’t expect a place to hang out for a while.
Roundtop Mountain Resort is located between Harrisburg and York, PA. It is a few miles from I-83, Route 15 and the PA Turnpike. For more information, visit http://www.skiroundtop.com/vertical-trek.