Boasting a course of 18 ziplines and a high-ropes course, Hocking Peaks Adventure Park immerses adventurers of all ages in a multitiered wilderness playground sprawling through the woods and fields of Hocking Hills. Surrounded by a sun-dappled tree canopy, the ropes course combines 60 midair challenges—including catwalks, suspended logs, and rope crossings—that visitors can surmount while strapped into safety harnesses that also help them blend in with current forest fashion trends. For kids, an alternative course and zipline hang a few feet above the ground. Within the same woods, ATV rides cover 15 miles of rambling ground trails, while paintball matches storm a separate wooded area with two levels of play and built-up cover.
As they emerge from the woodland playground, guests can take on the 42-foot high inflatable waterslide, or climb into one-, two-, or three-person transparent Ogo balls to roll down a hillside course more gracefully than a classically trained hamster. Additionally, an 18-hole disc-golf course—designed by professional disc-course planners Innova—sprawls through 6,000 feet of hills, beckoning players to aim for chain-fringed baskets.
Your hands wrap around the grip of a Tippmann marker. Multicolored spheres fly past you, spattering the trees and cutting air inches from your mask. Through the foliage, you can see half a plane buried nose-first in a clearing, one of many obstacles concealing potential foes. At SplatterPark, this good-natured combat sprawls across the adrenaline-soaked turf of 12 outdoor fields and 40 wooded and open acres adjacent to a lake. Warriors battle through capture-the-flag, base-defense, and other scenarios in themed arenas with adventurous names including Fort Buckeye, Snake Pit, and Dark Forest. Each field is suited to at least three types of play, but only the regular type of physics, and shouts of camaraderie echo off paint-flecked cover such as a broken-down school bus and a wooden-slat fort. In preparing for battle, combatants strap on rental or purchased gear under covered staging shelters, happy in the knowledge that their biodegradable paint ammunition will be harmlessly washed away by the elements or bears doing community service. SplatterPark also offer zombie-themed hayride shoots, in which a trailer is custom-fitted with 32 paintball guns, allowing participants to shoot live zombie targets. Prior to the hunt, visitors can test their skills on a target range.
The arena's surreal terrain was featured in the intense combat of Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball, a video game from Activision, but the real park caters to players of all abilities and ages. At an onsite caf?, hot dogs and energy drinks refuel warriors and allow them to tell if their nemeses are actually target dummies with no appetite, and the pro shop's staff bustles among markers, accessories, and spare parts.
Close-combat guerilla paintball matches lob combatants into a woodland field or speedball course for fast-paced war games supervised by trained referees. In the woodsball field, soldiers slide behind some 130 bunkers, ducking under branches and leaping over fallen logs while dodging fire and infiltrating a two-story wooden fort. Referees oversee various forms of gameplay—from standard single or double elimination bouts—to more tactical scenarios such as capture the flag, medic, predator, or marines vs. aliens.
Intense Paintball lives up to its moniker with two distinct battlegrounds?one indoor and one outdoor. The indoor field emulates a long-abandoned warehouse, consisting of an open floor cluttered by formations of barrels and inflatable blocks. Outdoors, trigger fingers get a workout among a 125' x 200' field populated by similar obstacles. To arm its players, Intense Paintball rents out Tippmann markers, paint, and accessories.
Hearing a cacophony of three-shots burst into the air but unable to see where it's coming from, a player decides to force his foes to reveal their positions by waiting patiently in the roots of an uprooted tree. Such natural cover lies throughout the backwoods field at Valley City Paintball, where combatants traverse terrain from wooded hills to a creek bed to stacks of fallen timber. The referees maintain safe conditions for all levels of players, showing guests a safety video and leading a field briefing before supervising games such as Defend the Tree and two-team Card Collector with re-spawn. Overseen by veteran Brian Gunkelman––who served four years in the 82nd Airborne and currently continues service through the Ohio Air National Guard––Valley City's team members allow up to 28 players on the field at a time. They also encourage visitors to take advantage of the natural cover, whether by wearing ghillie suits or painting a watercolor still life during the thick of battle.