HONORA BAY—In an attempt to help ease the burden of rising insurance costs, Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) is launching a unique project in the hopes of both gaining visitors to the famed Cup and Saucer Trail and raising money in the process.
“Work is set to begin this spring on a zipline that will run from the famed lookout atop the Cup and Saucer, heading down and north over the beautiful deciduous forest and ending in the gravel pit (owned by Don Eadie Construction),” Manitoulin EBC volunteer Dr. Roy Jeffery told The Expositor. “It will be just over one kilometre in length, making it one of the longest ziplines in North America.”
Dr. Jeffery explained that the ever-increasing costs of insurance for the world-famous trail system had the EBC brainstorming for unique ways to make the Cup and Saucer a sustainable tourist feature for Manitoulin Island. “The cost of adding a zipline to the policy is actually quite negligible,” Dr. Jeffery explained.
EBC has hired Ziplines-R-Us, a Canadian company that specializes in ziplines, to do the work. The cost of the venture is expected to come in close to $175,000. “It’s a heavy investment for a not-for-profit such as EBC, but we anticipate the return to be well worth it,” Dr. Jeffery said.
Dr. Jeffery said EBC is aware that the Eadie gravel pit is currently being explored as a site for a new gun range by the Manitoulin Marksmen Club, as reported previously by The Expositor, but said he doesn’t anticipate this to be a problem.
“If the range does go through, we’ll be sure to make sure that no guns are being fired upon the descent, and all zipliners will be given a blaze-orange cap to wear for added security,” he explained.
“This is a real boon for our municipality,” said Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin. “We know this new Cup and Saucer zipline will draw people from all over Ontario—Canada even—to our island. Well done, EBC.”
EBC hopes to have the zipline up and running for Canada Day and is also in talks with BeaverTails—makers of oversized donut-like confections—to install a stand at the bluff. “After burning off all those calories on the hike up, we’re hearing from the public that they are hungry and can use a snack,” Dr. Jeffery shared.
“We’re looking at a ticket price of $55 a trip, with $5 refundable upon return of the cap,” Dr. Jeffery added.
For more information and an artist’s rendering of the plan, please click here.