In the spirit of experiencing more fun in our own backyard, we decided to try out Kerfoot Canopy Tour, a really fun zip line adventure near Henderson, Minnesota, just 45 minutes from where we live. With 14 lines spanning over a mile in total length in the Minnesota River valley, we were excited to give it a go. The experience did not disappoint, giving us thrills, variety and beautiful views!
One of our family’s travel bucket list goals is to ride as many zip lines as possible during our journeys, and this one was really fun. For more details about my zip line rating system, please see this page.
Thanks to Kerfoot Canopy Tour for complimentary admission for our family! All opinions are our own.
Date of Our Experience:
We visited Kerfoot Canopy Tour in July 2018. It was a gorgeous morning! Since much of the course is in a wooded area, the shade felt great.
Cost, Location and Details:
All current information about Kerfoot Canopy Tour zip lines can be found here. Their prices and total time of experience (about 2.5 hours) are in line with other zip lines we have done. As with most places like this, weekdays are quite a bit less expensive. If you can make it on a weekday, I would definitely recommend that.
Kerfoot Canopy Tour is open year-round, so even those hard-core outdoorsy people who embrace the cold can zip in the frigid Minnesota winter! (For the record, I am not one of those hard-core oudoorsy people. 🙂 )
One note: Their staff doesn’t generally allow cell phones, cameras, or really anything to be carried in your pockets for the tour. They do allow helmet-mounted GoPro-type camera and offer them for rent as well. This was new for us, as most zip line places encourage cameras, but given that we were wearing gloves (more on that below), I can see where people might be prone to fumbling with their gear and dropping them. (I was allowed to bring my cell phone at my own risk because I explained that I was writing a blog post.)
Also know that there are a couple of water stations along the way, which is not terribly common for zip line courses to supply in our experience but was very much appreciated.
Type of Adventure:
Kerfoot Canopy Tour offers 14 zip lines, many more lines than most zip line courses we have experienced. (I would say the average is six or seven lines per course.) Several were pretty short, but two of them spanned over the river gorge and were quite long. The longest was 1,200′. The long lines had us riding well above the trees, providing beautiful views along with the rush of being so high. Many of the shorter lines toward the end of the course were steeper and really fast, which made them exciting. There was a fun suspension bridge along the way to take us across the gorge at one point.
This tour was fully guided, so we had two staff along the whole time. I was very impressed with our guides. Our family was part of a total group of 10. One person in the group was a nervous first-timer who also happened to need American Sign Language translation. The guides were very professional both with communicating with her through her translators and getting her comfortable. She was zip lining like a champ by the end.
One thing I really liked about this course is that all the lines were given a rating from 1 to 4, with 1 indicating a line that was beginner level (for the training lines and one of the early lines that was slower) to 4 being expert level (for a couple of the shorter, faster lines). So at each line you had a sense of what to expect for a thrill factor.
This was our first time riding a zip line with hand braking, which meant that we wore gloves with an extra leather piece over the glove on your dominant hand (see below). To stop, the guide on the far side of the line would signal when you should move the hand with the leather piece onto the line itself and press down to slow yourself. There was a rope on the end of the line that staff could use to stop us as a backup if needed.
Here are some pictures from our adventure.
This would be a good course for both new and experienced zip liners. I would say that, if anyone in your party is really nervous about going, hand braking might make take some time to get used to doing before they realize it really will stop you. People with anxiety of heights might also worry, as the platforms you stand on were at times several stories off the ground. Many of the lower platforms didn’t have railings on the side, although your harnesses are always hooked on to a line.
If you have gone zip lining before, you will find this course has enough scenic views and challenges to make it truly fun.
Kerfoot Canopy Tours also offers a fun Adventure Park ropes course for a separate charge.
The owners of Kerfoot Canopy Tour also own Brainerd Zip Line Tour in the Brainerd Lakes area of central Minnesota. We would love to try that one as well!
We really enjoyed this highly professional, scenic experience. For us as experienced zip liners, the ability to hand brake actually gave us more of a feeling of being active in the zip line experience (versus just being hooked on and off and stopped by staff). We would definitely recommend this fun experience!
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