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Sky High Opens May 5

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By Alicia Dziak

If you’re one of many anxiously awaiting to swing from the branches and zip through the treetops of Ellicottville, your wait is over! Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park opens May 5.

Sky High is made up of three components: the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster. While the coaster doesn’t open for the season until May 19, the other two attractions are ready to enjoy now!

The Aerial Park, the largest of its kind in New York State and third largest in the U.S., combines a series of platforms and bridges built in a 4-acre section of the woods near the resort’s Tannenbaum Lodge.

There are 13 courses with varying levels of difficulty and the more difficult the course, the higher up it is in the trees. There are three easiest yellow courses (Sunflower, Sunshine and Snapdragon), five easier greens (Forest Run, Mountain Trail, Grand Rapids I and Grand Rapids II and Fern Gully), two intermediate blues (Waterfall and Rip Tide), two difficult single black diamonds (Black Storm and Black Widow) and one most difficult double black, The Commando. All courses except Commando have at least one zip line and some have several.

The Aerial Park includes 142 platforms, 170 elements and 43 ziplines, with the tallest platform at 68 feet and the longest zip line measuring 350 feet.

Everyone wears a harness with a special locking lanyard that safeguards you from falling if you slip or let go. Children must be at least 7 years old, and all guests must be able to perform certain physical tasks to participate. There is a weight limit of 265 pounds.

For rates and to make reservations, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/.

Those ages five and up can enjoy the Climbing Forest, which is like a 3D version of a rock wall, and only one of three in the country. There are 10 trees outfitted with color-coded climbing holds and the difficulty ranges from very easy (yellow) to very challenging (purple). Each climber is fitted with a harness that is clipped into an Auto Belay system. Once a climber reaches the top of the tree at up to 45 feet, they just let go and the belay system slowly lowers them to the ground.

There is also a kids’ area with two trees where the youngest climbers can climb about 6 feet up and climb back down.

For rate info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/climbing- forest/.

The Aerial Park and Climbing Forest will both be open Fridays through Sundays, May 5 through June 11. Starting June 16, they will be open daily throughout the summer.

Come enjoy EVL from above while you get your adrenaline rush on!

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