HENDERSON, Minnesota (TUSEN) – Soon the leaves will start to change statewide. And along the Minnesota River Valley, there’s a pretty cool way to see yellows, reds, and oranges.
In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen takes us to Kerfoot Canopy Tour for a scenic thrill 175 feet in the air.
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There is a gravel road in Sibley County that winds up to the top of a hill. And from there, it’s a matter of coming back down quickly.
“It was crazy. Some of them look at you down and you’re like ‘aaaaahhhhhhh!’ Said Eli Johnson.
“I was pretty nervous the first time around. I didn’t know what I got myself into, ”said Eli’s mother Mandy Johnson.
The Johnson family engaged in 14 different zippers totaling over a mile. The first stage of the Kerfoot Canopy Tour begins slowly and gradually. But eventually you cross a bridge, and as Course Director Aaron Carlson says, that’s where the money is.
“You go up that 50-foot tower. You cross some ravines. You end up getting about 170 feet in the air, ”Carlson said. And at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
“You rise above them and you look at the trees and all that. Sliding down the line is a lot of fun, ”said Jason Johnson.
Kerfoot has been around since 2013. It is one of the few zip lines to offer canopy tours in winter. In fact, the colder it is, the faster you go.
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“There is physics involved. It’s a little more intense. You are cold. You have the speed. It’s awesome, ”Carlson said.
But make no mistake, the air track is fast no matter the time of year.
“When you come down you see the ridge and it goes up and down. It looks like the back of a dragon with the spikes up, ”Carlson said, pointing to a zipline called Dragon’s Back.
“To enjoy the cool breeze over there when you’re up in the towers. And to be able to see so much of Minnesota from one space. It’s awesome, ”said Mandy Johnson.
There isn’t a bad view from above, but that’s just a bonus. Visitors can arrive apprehensive and nervous. They leave fulfilled and renewed.
“Smiles, relief, joy – just a bit of everything. Our greatest thing is that I did this, ”Carlson said. “It’s just mind-blowing. Absolutely breathtaking.
Kerfoot also has an acrobatic course with 60 obstacles and two free falls.
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The DNR has a fall color map that offers daily updates on leaf peak and where, and you can always see the current conditions on the TUSEN.com weather page.