December 17, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
29°F
test

Zip line nearly ready to fly across Vermilion River Valley

Adam McIntyre, a S.T.E.P.S. Inc. builder, takes a test run down the zip line that is nearing completion at Common Ground in Henrietta Township. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Adam McIntyre, a S.T.E.P.S. Inc. builder, takes a test run down the zip line that is nearing completion at Common Ground in Henrietta Township. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

HENRIETTA TWP. — A builder with S.T.E.P.S. Inc. spent an afternoon in the treetops, testing out a zip line canopy course that is set to open at Common Ground in June.

From about 100 feet above the ground, the builder, Adam McIntyre, propelled across a portion of the Vermilion River Valley, ending near Baird Road.

Rich Grahovac, Common Ground executive director, watched, remarking that the view will be outstanding when the foliage grows in this spring.

“I can’t wait ‘til we’re up and going. It’s going to be so exciting,” he said.

The Zip Line Canopy Tour, which travels through 29 acres along the Vermilion River Valley, is Common’s Ground’s newest project. The organization will spend the next month putting the finishing touches on the course and training staff.

A nonprofit organization that provides educational programs for children and adults, Common Ground’s focus is on connecting people to the environment and “providing outdoor, adventure-based, experiential” programs.

The idea of a canopy tour surfaced as an idea that would allow the organization to move toward financial sustainability, allowing for less reliance on philanthropic funding, Grahovac said.

The Zip Line Canopy Tour will cost $85 per person. The organization is working out group pricing and other packages.

Grahovac said the tour will be the first of its kind in northern Ohio.

The tour through the wooded landscape on the Common Ground property contains a combination of zip lines, aerial bridges, staircases and footed paths. Participants will be harnessed to a steel cable throughout the treetop tour for safety.

The tour will be open June through November. Registration is expected to be open online by April 15.

Grahovac said he is expecting at least 5,000 guests in that time period. “We’re expecting to fill it up,” he said.

The tour is open to anyone 10 or older, from 70 to 250 pounds.

For more information, visit Common Ground’s website.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.