Taking a hike through the forest is pretty—but a flight through it is great! And very different. You really see the forest for the trees, when you spend a day at Ziplinepark Elmstein.
All right then, just one more step forward now… Lukas expected this to be easier. Now he gasps and looks like he wants to hug a tree instead. His girlfriend, a small splash of colour 25 metres underneath, encourages him for the third time: “Jump, darling!” Lukas jumps. A quick flight through the air and suddenly you stand alone on a platform just as wide as a foot high up in the treetop of a gigantic beech.
What a view! Forest as far as the eye can see. The forests of the Palatinate Forest–North Vosges Biosphere Reserve look like a sea of green—looked at from above. But there is no time to get lost in forest romanticism: Karl Haag, the manager of Ziplinepark Elmstein, flies over from the neighbouring giant spruce. He hangs easily on the steel cable, lands precisely on the platform with a smile and exudes something that is urgently needed by the others: safety and confidence. Now it’s the turn of the next member of today’s group. The manager checks everything—are the harness and the two karabiner clips fastened correctly, does the pulley go smoothly and is everything else as it should be? Of course! Just this step into the Palatinate woods’ empty air is not quite smooth. The undergrowth comes hurtling towards the brave jumper, whose circulation is flushed with a rush of adrenaline—until the nosedive is turned into gentle floating by the automatic pulley. Lukas stands on the ground laughing. This was it? No matter, indeed!
The next tree is not always more demanding. However, there are 18 cable sections and four secured jumps to be experienced in the Ziplinepark. After the second ride at the latest, tension turns into curiosity, then into confidence and finally courage. Peter comes from Ludwigshafen to the Elmstein valley to do ziplining. “You lose if you brake,” he shouts out and lets himself fall into the harness on the steel wire. The pulley hums and takes him into the air. The wind hisses and the heart races with joy. Treetops slip by to the right and the left, flashing quickly. A target platform appears in a distance and you start to guess how a bird that heads for its nest must feel.