VERNON -- Mountain Creek has unveiled a new attraction for the summer that should appeal to night owls -- or, at least, those who like flying through the dark.
On weekends and select weeknights, Mountain Creek Zip Tours is offering sunset and nighttime zipline tours.
Beginning with a short training line, guests then travel 1,040 feet to the top of the mountain for three full-length rides, the longest line being nearly 1,500 feet. The full-length lines all zip over Mountain Creek's spring-fed lake -- which provides water for the waterpark in the summer and snowmaking machines in the winter -- on the backside of the mountain.
"Our zip tours offer incredible views and to see them at sunset is breathtaking," said Sara Hazen, senior director of marketing at Mountain Creek.
"For guests visiting for the day or staying overnight, our nighttime tours are a great evening adventure for everyone."
During a nighttime ziplining tour over the Memorial Day weekend, several visitors of the park agreed that the view and the experience was well worth the trip.
Tahsin Chowdhury, of Warren, Mich., was visiting family in the area and the group decided to give ziplining a try. The family wanted to go during the day, but reserved their spot too late and settled for a sunset tour instead.
Although Chowdhury, 26, was apprehensive, after the tour guides sent him down the "bunny line," he was ready to go.
"It was beautiful, especially the lake. I was looking sideways, down, up," he said, after going down the first of the three main lines. "I'm afraid of heights, but this wasn't too bad. I wasn't scared."
His wife, Rubaiya Al-Sayeed, was a self-described "heights junkie." Al-Sayeed, 25, said the view from hundreds of feet in the air was "breathtaking."
"This is fun for me," she said. "I got a little nervous when we got to the top of the mountain, but I was good for the most part. I'm originally from Florida, so all we're used to seeing is plains-type land. This is something completely different."
Zoom Ziplines tour guide Luke Tremont, 22, of Vernon, said the dusk and night tours are a great alternative to the daytime option because the experience is a little more of an adrenaline rush.
"This is more of an exhilarating thing. You get a really cool view (while) gliding through the air," Tremont said.
"There's definitely some more adventure to it because of the lack of light."
Sharon Wang, 48, of Fair Lawn, and Dan Jones, 56, of Ridgefield, were amateur thrill seekers looking for something new to try.
"(I wanted to go) to avoid the sun," Wang said. "I felt like I was flying. I definitely will come a second time and introduce it to my friends."
Jones said he was enjoying himself more than some of the other activities the duo had done before.
"It feels safe and it's easier than rock climbing," he said. "I like it. It's a lot of fun. I like the elevation and it felt like I was flying. Nice view too."
Shaheda Choudhury, 26, of Hackettstown, said curiosity compelled her to give nighttime ziplining a try. With each zip over the water, Choudhury felt more and more comfortable.
"After the first one, I was less nervous," she said. "But as we kept going, I get less nervous. You get used to it after awhile."
After nearly two hours of ziplining, the tour concludes with a walk across a suspension bridge dangling just a few feet above the pitch-black water.
Chowdhury, now over any fear he had at the start of the tour, said he was glad he overcame his anxiety.
"It's been awesome, especially just bonding with the family and getting out and doing this type of stuff," he said.
"I'm thinking of doing ziplines (when I get back to) in Michigan."
Mahi Chowdhury, 20, also from Warren, Mich., offered a slight bit of criticism.
"If it was longer, it would have been better," he said. "But it was a cool experience. I'd do it again."
Dusk tours begin at 7:30 p.m. and night tours vary depending on the day.
For the peak season, ticket prices during the week are: $49.99 for children 13 and under and adults 65 and older; $59.99 for adults; and, $199.99 for a family pass (two adults, two children).
Weekend ticket prices are: $59.99 for children 13 and under and adults 65 and older; $69.99 for adults; and, $229.99 for a family pass.
Combination tickets for ziplining and waterpark access are also available.
Reservations are required to book a tour and space is limited. Call: 973-827-2000.