Sugarloaf Zipline Tours: Taking Mountain Adventure to New Heights

By Gabrielle Martin

August 10, 2021

Sugarloaf's zipline tours take mountain adventures to new heights! Groups of 8 or less depart daily Wednesday through Sunday from the Outpost Adventure Center; tickets are $45.00 per person when booking online (reservations are recommended, or pay $50 per person when booking in-person at the Outpost).

  • Friday and Saturday flight times are 9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, and 4:00pm.
  • Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday flights depart at 9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm (note that there are not 4:00pm flights offered on these days).

The Outpost asks participants—who must be at least 3 feet tall and weigh between 40 to 250 pounds—to arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour to be fitted with safety equipment, including a helmet. They also ask that you dress accordingly for the activity: anticipate to be doing some light hiking, so wear comfortable, sturdy shoes with a closed toe as well as pants that will accommodate your harness.

Those embarking on a 90-minute tree-canopy zipline tour will board the Sugarloaf Explorer at the base of the mountain which will deliver them to the first of 6 lines, each standing between 20 to 30 feet high and running up to 240 feet in length. The course spans the old gondola line, so you’ll be soaring over Gondi Brook. Once you're securely strapped into your harness, you're set to soar, and riders can reach top speeds of nearly 25 miles per hour! 

Soaring, Flying: Last week, I got a Facebook message from my cousin Liz saying that she, her husband Chris, and their two kids, Lauren and Luke, scored a vacation rental to the left of the Access Road and were heading north for their summer vacay. After a bit of back-and-forth chatting about summer activities in the area, we came to the topic of ziplining: “They want to do the ziplining—have you done it?” The truth was, I hadn’t, but this Outpost adventure activity had been on my to-do list for a while now and so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out!

The Murphys

Initially I thought I’d just accompany the Murphy clan as a photographer documenting their sky-high soaring, but the morning of our excursion, the fabulous zipline tour guides at the Outpost rallied me into joining in. Who was I to say no? Plus, ziplining from location-to-location sure seemed easier than hoofing it. I got geared up with a helmet and a step-in harness-type situation; I suggest you mentally prepare to be walking like a cowboy, but hey, it’s a small price to pay in exchange for a scenic zipline flight.

As our group made our way up Main Street to the Sugarloaf Explorer, lead guide Kirby Kelly was keeping spirits high and easing the jitters of the first-timers among us. Nerves were further calmed when we arrived at the first line and Kelly explained how participants would be connected to the zipline via two attachment points. He also noted how, prior to each ride, the zipline guides would perform an 8-point equipment check on each guest to ensure their continued comfort and safety, and that all equipment is thoroughly inspected every day.

Kirby Kelly

Additionally, Kelly instructed the group not to touch the zipline while on our respective rides. The Sugarloaf ziplines use a gravity breaking system with an arrester and a guide, making for a hands-free experience, while the guides, sporting sturdy work gloves to avoid burn, operate the system differently.

Kirby’s Top Tip: “The trick to ziplining is sitting into the harness when you’re in flight.”

The first two lines are positioned back-to-back, so riders complete one after the other and become familiarized with the process. From the third line on, our zipline guides engage us in challenges, such as dropping a rock in a bucket or ring toss using hula hoops and tree stumps. Those who were successful were given the honor of adding their name to a book of fellow challenge-completers (shoutout to Brynn on our tour who showed that it is entirely possible to succeed, just not for me). Others became members of the Upside-Down Club.

The sixth and final line is the most scenic, crossing over the Landing with stunning sights of Sugarloaf to the left and the Bigelows to the right. Some opted to complete this portion of the course upside-down, but I was too stunned by the scenery to do more than take everything in. I’ve seen Sugarloaf nearly every day for the past year, but never before by zip line–and I have to say, the change of perspective was absolutely incredible.

Line 6

My advice? Book yourself a ziplining excursion from the Outpost and incorporate a little adventure into your summer stay;  this action-packed activity pairs well with a beer and Bag Burger afterwards. Attend the excursion with friends or family, bring your best attitude while exploring new altitudes, and above all else, enjoy the ride.