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Zipliner shoots across a lake.
Macon countians now have access to another fabulous summer activity. Bottom View Farm, in nearby Portland, has just opened its new 5000-foot zipline.
The zipline is broken into seven rides, and runs in a delightful zig-zag through the farm’s varied landscape and mountainous views. Lines reach up to 35 miles an hour and sometimes stretch 50 feet above land or water. At the end of the nearly mile-long ride, which takes about forty minutes, riders are shuttled back to the main farm campus by a taxi service: a tractor-pulled covered wagon.
U.S. law does not have safety regulations for ziplines, so the farm has adhered closely to Canada’s safety requirements. Two trained attendants accompany riders down the series of lines—one to send, and one to catch. Riders are protected by a system of double hooking at each stopping point; this means that even in the hooking process, they are attached to a safety line at all times.
The zipline is only an addition to a summer spot that was already designed for hours of family fun. The centerpiece of the 400-acre farm is an old-fashioned Western town square, with restaurant (“Old Time Fixin’s”) and ice-cream shop (“The Inside Scoop”), a barn venue that hosts a wedding nearly every weekend, donkey rides, a pay lake, a large model train, and oversize slides. There are also farm tours, strawberry and blackberry picking, and in the fall, a corn maze and haunted woods— in short, everything you’d need to make full day.
“I’ve been on the farm full time since ’68,” said owner Ralph Cook. “But we’ve been entertaining kids since 1995. This all started when we had the tobacco buyout, and we decided to start doing something different. We’ve been doing this, adding to it every year, since then.
“We try to keep things where people can afford it. This fall we’re putting in a pillow jump, pedal cars, gold mine, just on and on and on.”
Minimum age for the zipline is 8 years old, and riders must be above 60 lbs and below 270 lbs. Those with heart problems should not ride. Zipline hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Cost is $49.95 for individuals; $39.95 per person for groups of eight or more. For more information, or to set appointment, call (615) 427-8097.