Ziplining is the act of getting all harnessed up, hooking yourself to a long steel cable via a pulley attached to your waist, whispering a plea of mercy to your deity of choice, and then willfully jumping into the abyss. You then go whizzing, neigh, zipping through the air along the cable until you arrive at point b where a trained professional prevents you from making too hasty an introduction to point b. Unclip your pulley from the cable, walk to the next designated jump-off point, and do it all over again. Now, you might be thinking, “Cool your jets turbo. Are you suggesting that I not only strap myself onto a steel cable and go Tarzaning among the trees, but that I bring my kid along for the ride?” Yep.

Ziplining is safe. Of all the adventure sports that your family can indulge in, ziplining might have the best overall “Perceived Risk” to “Actual Risk” ratio out there. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that stirs up as much adrenaline without putting you in the type of risky situation your fight or flight reflexes were designed to help you get out of. In the greater Portland area there are a few choice spots where you can take the kiddos for a few hours of laryngitis inducing fun.

High Life Adventures
The new kid on the block, High Life Adventures just opened up this summer. Just south of Astoria in the town of Warrenton, the family owned and operated zipline park sits on 30 acres, with a 7 acre lake smack dab in the middle….A lake you get to zip across a few times and even potentially touch on one decent.

Need to Know: Kiddos must weigh at least 60 lbs to zip. The cost is $99 for adults and $69 for kids under 15.

U.S.101 Bus
Warrenton, Or 97146
503-861-9875
Online: highlife-adventures.com

Tree to Tree Adventure Park
Located onHaggLake, the Tree to Tree Adventure Park has more options for fun than you can shake a stick at. The park not only has a zipline course, but also aerial obstacle courses where kids can rappel, walk across tight ropes and wobbly bridges, even zipline, all while safely harnessed.

Need to Know: There are different obstacle courses depending on arm reach and height. To play on the Children’s Course little ones must be able to reach with hand outstretched 5’, but be no taller than 5’.  Admission is $25. The Tweener Course is for bigger kiddos who can reach 5’11″ arm outstretched over head. Admission to this course is $35. To tackle the Zip Park kiddos must weigh at least 75lbs. Admission for adults and kids into theZipPark is $75.

2975 SW Nelson Road
Gaston,Or 97119
503-357-0109
Online: treetotreeadventurepark.com

Camp Dakota
Camp Dakota is another multi-faceted family fun paradise. Located about an hour from Portland, the camp is 45 acres of camping, paintballing, rock wall climbing, disc golfing, high roping, gold panning, and of course, ziplining adventure.

Need to Know: Little ones must weigh at least 60lbs. Camp Dakota offers a Basic three line tour for $25 per person (two trips through 3 basic lines) or a Full Canopy Tour (All 7 ziplines)
$60 per person.

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1843 Crooked Finger
Scotts Mills,Or 97375
503-873-7432
Online: campdakota.com/zip_lines___challenge_course

Know Before You Go: Each park has its own list of regulations, but advanced reservations and close-toed shoes are a requirement at all three.

Have you and your kids experienced the zip lining parks near Portland? Share with us your tips on bringing the older kids to these fun parks. 

–Adam Sawyer

Photos courtesy of Adam Sawyer and the Facebook page of Camp Dakota…