Care to zip over Niagara Falls? In this July 19, 2016 photo provided by WildPlay Ltd., tourists suspended above the water from zip lines make their way at speeds of up to 40 mph toward the the mist of the Horseshoe Falls, on the Ontario side of Niagara Falls. (Kien Tran/WildPlay Ltd. via AP)
Care to zip over Niagara Falls?
Lexile

Niagara Falls is the latest natural wonder to add a zip line. It offers honeymooners and everyone else the chance to take an adrenaline-pumping plunge toward churning mist. And, to go at speeds that top 40 mph.
 
The elevated cable rides have evolved from a novel way to explore jungle canopies. Now they're almost necessary additions to lure tourists in the 21st century to established destinations. It's a trend that's exposed a rift between those who approach nature like contemplative monks and others who require an extreme, Indiana Jones-style experience.
 
"We can't make these into museums," argued Tom Benson. He is co-founder and chief experience officer at WildPlay Element Parks. It built the Niagara Falls zip line. "How do you take a teenager and get them away from a game console to something that is going to capture their imagination?"
 
The commercial zip lines have boomed in popularity. This has occurred over the past five years. There are at least 200 in the United States alone. It means more people are experiencing nature in a way that would make Thoreau dizzy.
 
They can ride above the tree line at New River Gorge in West Virginia. They can ride over California's Catalina Island. They can move above lush Hawaiian landscapes and in view of Denali in Alaska.
 
A zip line ride in Mexico's Copper Canyon runs more than a mile and a half. One in Nepal has a drop of 2,000 feet. Another in Sun City, South Africa, boasts top speeds of 100 mph.
 
"You feel all this air rushing past you. It's this great almost roller coaster-esque feeling," Quillan Brady said. Brady had just ridden on the new Eagle Flyer zip line at Lake George in New York's Adirondacks. "But really, what I think makes it is looking around and seeing all this natural New York beauty."
 
Niagara Falls-area resident James Bannister doesn't quite see it that way. To him, the new zip line there amounts to a "circus midway-style attraction."
 
"Every once in a while somebody comes along and says, 'Boy, you could build another great attraction here!' As if the falls itself wasn't enough of an attraction," Bannister said.
 
Zip line fans say it's still possible to marvel at nature while whizzing above it at highway speeds.
 
At Niagara Falls, WildPlay's Benson said his four lines angle 2,200 feet along the Canadian side of the gorge. He said they were designed to be sensitive to the local environment.
 
Catalina Island's zip line makes stops for presentations at designated "eco-stations." And riders of the Lake George zip line said they had a new perspective on the natural wonder.
 
The owner of the Lake George line is Ralph Macchio Sr. He is father of the "Karate Kid" actor with the same name. He said he got the idea for his attraction by gazing out from atop the majestic Adirondack peaks.
 
"I thought, 'Gee, if you could look at it like you were flying like a bird and get that view, that would be an Adirondack experience,'" Macchio said. "And that's why I built the zip line."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are there objections to the zip line?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (231)
  • pcaroline-dav
    9/01/2016 - 02:06 p.m.

    In response too wild-play element parks putting in zip lines. I agree that they should have the zip lines over Niagara falls. One reason why I agree is because it gets kids off the couch and not playing video games. Another reason why is because that would be a breath taking opportunity to be able to zip line across one of our country's greatest views. It says in the article that "this zip line can go up to 40 mph." Even though the zip line doesn't go to fast,this is an amazing accomplish for our country and it would be a breath taking opportunity.

  • plaura-dav
    9/01/2016 - 02:25 p.m.

    In response to "care to zip over niagra falls," I agree that this sould be alowed because people like to zip line and if you just do it over ground it is not as fun. One reason I disagree is that it could brake and it will be vary hard to get out of the wate. Another reason is that if you do not know how to swim you could drond . It says in the article that it reches up to 40 mph.

  • angell-1-ver
    9/06/2016 - 08:00 a.m.

    Zip Lining is the popular activity in these five years. Now there is different like to zip line speed, the fastest is 100 mph. In the article, "Zip Line fans say it's still possible to marvel at nature while whizzing above it at highway speeds."

  • fblake-dav
    9/07/2016 - 05:08 p.m.

    In response to "Care to zip over Niagara Falls?" I agree to zip over Niagara falls. One reason that I agree is because if you could imagine flying 40 feet high in the air going 40 miles per hour that would be really cool and it would be a really good experience to be able to do. Another reason is that if you want an Indiana Jones experience than this might wanna be the place to go. It says that in the article that this would get people to be out in nature and have fun and get away from electronic devices. A third reason is that it would be really fun cause the zip line is over 2,000 feet long. Even though it could be pretty dangerous, I think that you should ride it because its a once in a life time experience.

    Hill, Michael. "Care to Zip over Niagara Falls." Http://tweentribune.com/article/tween56/care-zip-over-niagara-falls/. Associated Press, 1 Sept. 2016. Web. 7 Sept. 2016.

  • hayleel-ste
    9/08/2016 - 01:41 p.m.

    Niagara Falls would be the last place I would ever go zip lining! That thing goes forty mile per an hour that is INSANE!!! I am terrified of heights as it is never in my life would I ever be brave enough to go on a zip line especially this one!

    • bellap-stu
      9/29/2016 - 05:10 p.m.

      I agree. I am absolutly terrified of heights and Niagrara Falls would be the last place I would go. I couldn't amagion having all the wind and bugs hitting your face! Ouch!

      • jessej-loy
        12/01/2016 - 11:36 a.m.

        i think that would be narley bro

  • tbreonna-dav
    9/08/2016 - 04:32 p.m.

    In response to "Care to zip over Niagara Falls?," I disagree that they should not have zip lines over Niagara Falls. One reason I disagree is that what if people are trying to enjoy the view, they can't do that because people are screaming on the zip line. Another reason is that what if the zip line just goes to fast and Simeon falls off. It says in the article it says that the zip line goes more than 40 miles per hour. A third reason is what is the zip line goes to slow and they just stop in the middle of Niagara Falls. Even though I disagree, I think
    It would be a lot of fun to most people.

  • ybailey-dav
    9/08/2016 - 06:56 p.m.

    In response to "care to zip line of Niagara falls?" I agree that zip lining over niagara falls would be cool. One reason I agree is to see the magnificent views. It would be so extraordinary zipping by rushing water, exotic animals, or thick forest. Another reason is that going 40 miles per hour or more would be so thrilling. I like to go on speeding rides so a 40 mile per hour or an even faster zip line sounds awesome. In the article it says " One in Nepal has a drop of 2,000 feet." Just imagine being in the air higher than 2,000 feet. To me that sounds pretty exiting, I love being high in the air! Even though a lot of people would be scared because of heights or the fear of falling, I think that zip lining over Niagara falls,or anywhere would be cool because of the sights, speed and height.

  • oabigail-dav
    9/08/2016 - 08:01 p.m.

    I know that Niagara Falls itself was already an extremely popular tourist attraction, but now there something in addition to the gigantic water fall to bring in people from all over the world. A thrill-seeking zip-line over those falls. I think it was a genius idea to build a zip-line there. If I had the time and the money for a plane ticket, I would go there right now. It says in the article that Niagara falls is "an adrenaline pumping plunge toward churning mists." I don't know about most people but that sounds like the experience of a lifetime to me.

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