Eerie Thrills Above the Erie Canal

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Location of new zip line attraction across the Erie Canal.

Location of new zip line attraction across the Erie Canal.

A new zip line will put the “whee” in experiencing the Erie Canal in northwest New York when the Hydraulic Race Company Inc., owners of Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride, complete construction on its recently approved zip line project. The Lockport Common Council recently approved a tour that includes a platform a couple hundred feet from the Lockport Cave as well as two other platforms to be built on state property on each side of the canal.

The Erie Canal is considered one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America. While the zip tour will be less groundbreaking, it’s nonetheless in capable hands. Mark Glynn, of Glynn Geotechnical Engineering of Lockport, is the project engineer. Glynn sits on the ASTM F24 subcommittee that is developing standards on aerial adventure courses and has also been a featured speaker at Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) conferences. He has designed attractions all over the country, with recent installations on Grand Island and at Peak n’ Peak ski area.

The Lockport project hits particularly close to home. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a zip line in my own backyard, it’s quite a treat,” Glynn said.

The zip lines’ starting platform will be 86 feet above the water, and the zip line will be angled east, taking people 450 feet across the canal. A second intermediate platform will be located about 35 feet lower than the first. To reach the third platform, located near the railroad that parallels the canal, people will zip back over the canal, traveling 350 feet and dropping another 35 feet.

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About Author

Troy Hawks contributes to Adventure Park Insider, Ski Area Management, and a variety of other publications and websites. He has held editorial positions at business magazines serving outdoor sports and recreation as well as manufacturing and textiles. Most recently he was communications manager for the National Ski Areas Association and editor of the NSAA Journal. He also serves as a communications consultant for several clients. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, he now lives in Denver, Colo.

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