Care to zip over Niagara Falls? In this July 19, 2016 photo provided by WildPlay Ltd., tourists suspended above the water from zip lines make their way at speeds of up to 40 mph toward the the mist of the Horseshoe Falls, on the Ontario side of Niagara Falls. (Kien Tran/WildPlay Ltd. via AP)
Care to zip over Niagara Falls?
Lexile

Niagara Falls is the latest natural wonder to add a zip line. It offers honeymooners and everyone else the chance to take an adrenaline-pumping plunge toward churning mist. And, to go at speeds that top 40 mph.
 
The elevated cable rides have evolved from a novel way to explore jungle canopies to almost necessary additions to lure tourists in the 21st century to established destinations. It's a trend that's exposed a rift between those who approach nature like contemplative monks and others who require an extreme, Indiana Jones-style experience.
 
"We can't make these into museums," argued Tom Benson. He is co-founder and chief experience officer at WildPlay Element Parks. It built the Niagara Falls zip line. "How do you take a teenager and get them away from a game console to something that is going to capture their imagination?"
 
The commercial zip lines have boomed in popularity over the past five years. There are at least 200 in the United States alone. It means more people are experiencing nature in a way that would make Thoreau dizzy.
 
They can ride above the tree line at New River Gorge in West Virginia, over California's Catalina Island, above lush Hawaiian landscapes and in view of Denali in Alaska.
 
A zip line ride in Mexico's Copper Canyon runs more than a mile and a half. One in Nepal has a drop of 2,000 feet. Another in Sun City, South Africa, boasts top speeds of 100 mph.
 
"You feel all this air rushing past you. It's this great almost roller coaster-esque feeling," Quillan Brady said after riding on the new Eagle Flyer zip line at Lake George in New York's Adirondacks. "But really, what I think makes it is looking around and seeing all this natural New York beauty."
 
Niagara Falls-area resident James Bannister doesn't quite see it that way. To him, the new zip line there amounts to a "circus midway-style attraction."
 
"Every once in a while somebody comes along and says, 'Boy, you could build another great attraction here!' As if the falls itself wasn't enough of an attraction," Bannister said.
 
Zip line fans say it's still possible to marvel at nature while whizzing above it at highway speeds.
 
At Niagara Falls, WildPlay's Benson said his four lines angle 2,200 feet along the Canadian side of the gorge. He said they were designed to be sensitive to the local environment.
 
Catalina Island's zip line makes stops for presentations at designated "eco-stations." And riders of the Lake George zip line said they had a new perspective on the natural wonder.
 
The owner of the Lake George line is Ralph Macchio Sr. He is father of the "Karate Kid" actor with the same name. He said he got the idea for his attraction by gazing out from atop the majestic Adirondack peaks.
 
"I thought, 'Gee, if you could look at it like you were flying like a bird and get that view, that would be an Adirondack experience,'" Macchio said. "And that's why I built the zip line."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are there objections to the zip line?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (181)
  • jtyler-dav
    9/01/2016 - 01:57 p.m.

    this article tells why zip lines are fun,where you can find zip lines,and what you see while your riding them.

  • afrikab-ric
    9/06/2016 - 02:44 p.m.

    There are objections to the zipline because some think that it does not contribute well. Saying that you can't "marvel at nature" while on a zipline and some disagree. People don't think that a zipline will get teenagers to leave the "game console." Some are looking for something better to get people to come out and enjoy the nature.

  • jennab-ric
    9/06/2016 - 02:50 p.m.

    There are objections to zip lines because some of them are not safe. They also want it to be safe since they can go up to 100mph. In paragraph 5 it says in South Africa there zipline can reach up to 100mph. They also go over crazy places like one of them goes over niagara falls.

  • mayleeng-ric
    9/06/2016 - 02:54 p.m.

    There are objections to the zip line because its probably unsafe and a really random idea. Also it might be scary zip lining over a waterfall, and the zip liner might think they might fall. People are scared when their on it and think its unsafe zip lining over random but beautiful places. That why.

  • humbertoc-ric
    9/06/2016 - 02:57 p.m.

    The zipline is an attraction that some people enjoy. The others object on the zipline. Niagara Falls-area resident James Bannister personally doesn't like the zipline. To him, the new zip line there amounts to a "circus midway-style attraction." He said, "Every once in a while somebody comes along and says, 'Boy, you could build another great attraction here!' As if the falls itself wasn't enough of an attraction."

  • monserratol-ric
    9/06/2016 - 03:13 p.m.

    There are objections on the zip line because people have different opinions.Some people don't think its fun looking at the beauty and point of view your getting.Also they say that instead of the zip lines they could have built something more entertaining instead they call it a "circus midway-style attraction."

  • jaydenh1-ric
    9/06/2016 - 03:16 p.m.

    It would be unsafe without the gadgets because you would maybe not have the right equipment and you might fall or something or slip out of it without all of the required things

    • alyssah1-hei
      9/09/2016 - 03:42 p.m.

      I disagree with this answer because this was not stated in the text. I think that what you did is you guessed but you didn't go back into the text or maybe you just missed it but I don't think this is the answer.

  • sydneyb1-ric
    9/06/2016 - 03:35 p.m.

    There are objections to the zip line because there can be another attraction. Like it said in the article, " Every once in awhile somebody comes along and says, Boy, you could build another great attraction here! " Another reason is that some people might think ziplining is a waste of an area. It could also be a waste of money, too.

    • kennishag1-hei
      9/09/2016 - 12:18 p.m.

      I like your response on the question and how u said, "Every once and awhile somebody comes along and says,Boy you could build another great attraction here!"

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