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NICKERSON — A first-of-its-kind zip line tour promises to take thrill seekers to new heights.

The Soaring Hawk Zip Line Tour opened March 15 at Camp Crossed Arrows near Nickerson, featuring five lines that send zippers over the wooded ravines and rolling hills of the Elkhorn River valley north of Fremont.

Between all five lines, riders can soar across 2,208 feet. There are ground-based people pullers available to carry riders from one line to the next.

Promoters say it's the first multiline zip course in Nebraska.

They've designed the tour so that riders can ease into the experience.

“We sequence it so one is kind of the ease in, two is a little bit higher and so on,” said Rob Anderson, challenge course manager for the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska Council. “The way it was designed, we used the lay of the land so none of them are really high platforms that you have to jump off of.”

The final line takes riders across a deep ravine.

“When you go across that last ravine from the belly of the zip, which is the lowest point you would hang, to the bottom of the ravine, is 54 feet,” Anderson said.

Soaring Hawk’s first riders, zipping down the course at speeds up to 30 mph, were a group of Girl Scouts advisory group students from Lincoln and Omaha.

The Girl Scouts operate challenge courses, including single zip lines, at other camps in the state.

 
The Soaring Hawk Zip Line Tour, however, is open to the public, with reservations available in three-hour blocks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1-4 p.m., and 4-7 p.m.

“We are hoping everything from youth groups, church groups, civic groups, etc., will come out and ride,” said Michael Davis, council property director for the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska Council. “We want to keep it as busy as possible.”

A complete tour will cost $20 for Girl Scouts ages 10-18 and Girl Scout-affiliated adults. For others, youth will pay $40 and adults $50.

Riders must weigh at least 60 pounds but not more than 275.

The first line of the course is wheelchair-accessible, and there are plans to expand that to the second line.

Plans also include two additional lines closer to the Elkhorn River.

“It is scalable, so at some point in time we can add another two runs,” Davis said. “We are still working on funding for that, and where the other two would go would require some tree clearing as well.”

The $200,000 Soaring Hawk project took three months to complete, according to Davis. The zip lines were built by Adventure Experiences.

“They said we’re the first Girl Scout camp in the country to do anything like this,” Anderson said.

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