Mountain Coasters and Ziplining

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Skiing and snowboarding are not the only way you can enjoy snowy peaks and
mountain vistas this winter, thanks to mountain coasters and ziplining.

Here are some ideas:

At Holiday Valley Mountain in Ellicottville the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster will zoom all winter (although the zipline will not be open). Oriented close to the ground, the coaster follows the inherent curves, dips and dives of the mountain for a thrilling descent through the snow-covered woods of over 2,940 feet of track. The rider can control the speed of the coaster.

Riders must be at least 3 years old and more than 38 inches tall without shoes to ride with an adult, or 8 years old and 54 inches tall to ride alone. The driver of a two-person car must be at least 16 years old, capable of a few physical actions and be a head taller than the passenger.

At Hunter Mountain in Hunter experience New York Zipline Canopy Tours’ five ziplines of more than 4.5 miles on one of North America’s longest, highest, and fastest ziplines. After a chairlift ride to Summit Lodge (also accessible by an off-road ride,) riders begin their 3,200-foot descent from 600 feet above the valley and reach speeds of up to 50 mph. All riders must be 110 to 260 lbs. and no taller than 6 ft. 5 in.

The Adventure Center in Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland features a gravity-fed mountain coaster and two dual ziplines for your wintertime adventure (two additional dual ziplines open from April through October). Mountain coaster riders must be at least 54” in height and age 7 to ride alone but no more than 350 lbs. To ride with an adult, riders must be at least 3 years old and a minimum of 38” in height. Double rider cars must have a driver of at least 16 years of age. Zipline riders must be aged 7 or older and at least 48” in height and 60 lbs. but no heavier than 270 lbs.

Boundless Adventures in Westchester operates 23 ziplines throughout its six-acre ropes course. The courses are child-friendly for those aged 7 and older, with adult supervision. Teens 14 and older may ride solo.

Lake Placid’s Cliffside Mountain Coaster was opened in 2020 at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The structure melds the effects of skeleton and bobsled for what has been called the continent’s longest mountain coaster. Riders must be at least 9 years old and 52in. tall. Drivers with a passenger must be 18 or older and passengers must be between 3 and 12 years old and at least 36in. tall. The total weight maximum for the coaster is 300 lbs. per sled.

These adventures are in high demand, so count on making reservations well in advance of when you want to ride. Some of the venues offer other activities onsite, so review their websites for more things to do at the resorts and in the area.

To increase the safety of your experience, carefully listen to the training and guidelines provided. Zipline courses require gloves, so either bring your own or purchase them onsite. Riders who are outside of the height and weight parameters should not ride, as these have been established for their safety. Some articles of clothing and footwear are recommended, and others are prohibited. Carefully review each venues’ guidelines before making plans to ride a mountain coaster or zipline. The safety waivers may be available online to expedite your check-in.