#iZipped Along the BRaB

Follow the signs through the Back Roads and Beaches

Follow the signs through the Back Roads and Beaches

Looking for an added adventure during your ride along the Back Roads and Beaches route? Trade in your cycle for a harness and spend some time at Common Ground Canopy Tours! Tour the treetops for about 2 and a half hours while conquering 7 ziplines, 3 aerial bridges, 2 spiral staircases and 1 very unique floating staircase! All adrenaline junkies ages 10 and up are welcome.

What a way to wrap up my internship with Visit Lorain County! After getting to learn about and explore the county over the past few months, I think I have found a new favorite place called Common Ground. I  invited my mom to come along for the ride and we started the day off by meeting our guides, Liz and Amelia. In total, there were 4 people in our group, but you can have up to 8! The guides got all of us set up in our harnesses and led us to “Ground School.” In Ground School, all of us learned the basics of zip lining, such as breaking, wrist motions to turn, and general safety precautions. We practiced on a mini zip line before making our way to the first big zip. 59 steps up later and it was time to start our canopy tour!

Beginning of the canopy Tour!

Beginning of the canopy tour!

As we zipped further into the forest, we made our way higher and higher into the canopy as well. As we zipped, our guides spoke with us about all of the different trees we would pass during our time in the canopy. Do you know the difference between a red pine and a white pine? A red pine has three needles in each cluster, while a white pine has 5! Easiest way to remember? Red has 3 letters (3 needles) while white has 5 letters (5 needles)! Liz and Amelia also discussed the construction of the course and the sustainable methods used to build it. Common Ground is dedicated to keeping their forest healthy, so the course was actually constructed in a way that will allow it to grow with the trees!

Remember that floating staircase I mentioned earlier? I think it was my favorite part. The floating staircase at Common Ground is the only staircase of its kind available for public use in all of North America! Since only one person can climb the staircase at once, there was a point in time where I was the only person on the entire continent making my way up a staircase in the trees. Pretty cool, right?


Floating Staircase.

Anyways, at our highest point, we were about 65 feet above the ground. The trees were lush and green and the sights were gorgeous. Our final zip took us over a tributary of the Vermilion River, and it was awesome to see our reflection in the clear water as we rushed by overhead! That zip took almost 30 seconds and we were able to really pick up some speed. Talk about an adrenaline rush! When it was finally time to make our way back to the ground at the end of the tour, each of us got to rappel from the final platform.


Zip away shot.

Overall, my time at Common Ground was awesome. It was definitely a much more enriching experience than just riding along some zip lines. It was a time to disconnect from everyday life for a while and get in tune with nature. I learned a lot about my surroundings from passionate and informed guides, and learned a little bit about myself too, all while taking in some amazing views and zipping all over the canopy!

Check out Common Ground Canopy Tours online to view more information on the canopy tours, as well as their new high ropes course!



posted by lorain at 10:10 am
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