Kohala Canopy Adventure “Aerial Trekking” experience is as unique as this pristine corner of Hawaii
Hawaii’s Big Island is a place many travelers associate with outsized adventure, and the opening this month of a new zipline experience in the Halawa area is no different. Located on a pristine reserve filled with towering, century-old trees, the Kohala Canopy Adventure is located area that’s a natural for this new eco-thrill ride.
Called aerial trekking due to the extensive, mile-long course and varied experiences included, this tree-to-tree adventure features 5 elevated suspension bridges, 14 soaring tree platforms, 9 ziplines and 2 rappels. The 3-hour adventure begins with a short-course zipline that allows time for individual training in technique, proper positioning, hand braking and movement from platform to platform. As you continue through the aerial course, ziplines increase in length and speed, ranging from about 110 feet to the memorable 1,100-foot course finale — a dual-rider, side-by-side zipline that stretches out over the forest floor some 75 feet below. By the time your feet are back on solid ground, nearly a mile will have passed underneath.
The adrenalin-pumping aerial trek is only part of the attraction, as the new adventure is designed to showcase the natural beauty and history of Kohala’s Halawa Gulch, which is near the ancestral home of Hawaii’s most famous monarch, Kamehameha the Great. Platforms are built in towering trees that connect each zipline and allow you to soak in amazing vistas that include a meandering stream, ancient taro fields and the forest floor eight stories below. The ride itself is also totally unique thanks to the use of special polymer-coated lines, meaning you glide through the forest in total silence (except for the occasional scream of delight of course). These eight dual-cable, single-rider and one dual-cable tandem rider ziplines were constructed by a team of expert canopy course builders from Colorado and Costa Rica, and the platforms and elevated sky bridges were designed for minimal impact to the forest.
“The serenity and natural beauty of this site really speaks for itself,” said Victor Gallo, the Costa Rica-based co-founder of Adventure Playground, and site construction manager for Kohala Zipline. “Leaving as much of the canopy intact to create a nature based tour was our biggest challenge and we’re really excited about the outcome of this project. We wanted to honor the site by having as little disturbance as possible among these 100 year old trees.”
Along with creating an aerial trekking course that raises the bar on adventure tours, Kohala Zipline installed the latest safety features available today. Beginning with redundant attachment points throughout the trek, guests also benefit by being guided by professionally certified Zipline Guides.
“Our guests feel really safe and comfortable being able to utilize the customized ‘participant control system’ for braking rather then the typical gravity brake other operators employ. This improved system allows the riders to control speed and orientation, making them true participants in their adventure, not simply along for the ride,” says Rob Pacheco, co-founder of Kohala Zipline.
For more information on the Kohala Zipline’s Canopy Tour Adventure including prices and directions, call 800.464.1993 or check the Kohala Zipline website.