Kerfoot Canopy Tour in Henderson, Minnesota: A Beautiful Zip Line Adventure

By Kristie Probst, Owner/Blogger at World is Wide

In the spirit of experiencing more fun in our own backyard and adding more experiences to our family’s zip line bucket list, last summer we decided to try out Kerfoot Canopy Tour, a really fun zip line adventure near Henderson, Minnesota, just 45 minutes from where we live. The experience did not disappoint, giving us thrills, variety and beautiful views!

Thanks to Kerfoot Canopy Tour for complimentary admission for our family! All opinions are our own.

Kerfoot Canopy Tour

Kerfoot Canopy Tour Details

All current information about Kerfoot Canopy Tour zip lines can be found at Kerfoot Canopy Tour. 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!

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. (I was allowed to bring my cell phone at my own risk because I explained that I was writing about our experience.)

 

 

 

The Kerfoot Zip Line Adventure

Kerfoot Canopy Tour offers 14 zip lines, many more lines than most zip line courses we have experienced. Several were pretty short, but two of them spanned over the river gorge and were quite long. 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 the professionalism of our young guides. 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.

Zip Line Hand Braking

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. 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.

View of the suspension bridge from the high tower.

WAY above the treetops and over the river valley.

This is a good course for both new and experienced zip liners. If you have gone zip lining before, you will find this course has enough scenic views and challenges to make it truly fun.

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!

Earth Day Discount

Save 40% on the Kerfoot Canopy Tour or the Brainerd Zip Line Tour when you purchase and book your reservation by April 22nd! More details here.

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Kerfoot Canopy Tour - A Beautiful Zip Line Adventure in Henderson, MN

A Morning of Hiking in Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

If you’re looking for a lovely Minnesota day trip, it’s hard to beat a few hours of hiking in Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park and an afternoon in Northfield. Kristie Probst from World is Wide shares this experience with us!

Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park is roughly an hour south of the Twin Cities and about a 20-minute drive from Northfield. (I cover a bit more about Northfield later in this post.) The park is named for Nerstrand, the small town nearest to the park, and the Big Woods, which are now only a fraction of their former majesty. These woods used to cover most of southeastern Minnesota until European settlers discovered the land there is great for farming. Sadly, this small state park is about all that is left of the Big Woods now.

A very unique feature of Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park is that it is home to the Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily, a species of lily found in three Minnesota counties, and no where else in the world. Unfortunately, we were there in the fall and missed their bloom. We would love to go back to Nerstrand-Big Woods in the spring to see these rare flowers!

Hidden Falls, Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park, Minnesota

Our hike quickly led us to Hidden Falls, on Prairie Creek. Really, these falls are such a gem. We went in autumn, and so the fall colors in the background make the scenery really hard to beat.

From Hidden Falls we hiked parts of the Beaver, Fox, and White Oak Trails, logging in about 4.25 miles in all. There are some hills, but mostly it was a fairly relaxing, low-key hike. We started around 9:00 a.m., so we mostly had the trails to ourselves. By the time we got back to our vehicle, the parking lot was full.

Here are some highlights from our hike.

Lunch and Exploring in Downtown Northfield

Northfield, Minnesota is a fascinating river town of about 20,000 on the Cannon River, about 40 minutes south of Minneapolis. It’s absolutely deserving of its own post, but because we were only there for lunch and a little bit of wandering around, and because I didn’t get many pictures, it will just get a mention here as a fantastic Minnesota destination.

With a motto like “Cows, colleges, and contentment,” you know you’re in for a treat when you visit Northfield. The town is home to two private colleges, Carleton and St. Olaf, and the college town vibe to go with them. It’s got well-preserved historic downtown buildings with fun, quirky shops. And it’s got a great annual celebration for when the townspeople banded together back in the 1800’s to chase Jesse James and his brother out of town, while stopping his gang from robbing the First National Bank. How many towns can boast all of that?

A few highlights from our walk around downtown…

We ate at Froggy Bottoms, not because it’s the best cuisine in town, but because it had a menu that would appease our family’s (picky) food tastes. In fairness to it, Froggy Bottoms is a charming basement pub with a lovely patio overlooking the Cannon River. And our food was very tasty!

After lunch, we treated ourselves to cookie dough and a cupcake at Cake Walk. Yum!

Next, some shopping. We spent some time in Makeshift Accessories, an eclectic store featuring upcycled items made out of everything from coins to brass cash registers to silver services. Oh, and Minnesota license plates.

We were back to our home in the south metro by mid-afternoon, but I can tell you that this little escape did so much good for this over-scheduled family. Time to plan another backyard adventure!

Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park