Shakopee woman sneaks into zipline park, needs sheriff's help making her escape

A woman trespassing at a Henderson zipline course found herself trapped 40 feet in the air.

A woman trespassing at a Henderson zipline course found herself trapped 40 feet in the air. Lee Kerfoot

The Sibley County Sheriff’s Office received an odd call. It was from a 21-year-old woman who said she’d been injured. The location: Kerfoot Canopy Tour in Henderson.

Kerfoot’s treetop adventure ride sends guests flying over the treetops on a series of 14 ziplines – including the 700-foot, intimidatingly-named Dragon’s Back. The caller said she tried a zipline and had found herself unable to slow down or stop. She’d been dumped, battered and frightened, atop of a 40-foot platform at the end of the line. She couldn’t find a way down.

The call came in at seven minutes after midnight. It seems the woman had broken into the park in the middle of the night and attempted the course on her own. Once she got stuck, she was basically forced to call the cops on herself.

Both the Belle Plaine and the Shakopee fire departments responded and used a ladder-and-bucket truck to get her down. She was hurt, but not badly, and refused medical treatment.

She hasn’t been arrested or charged with anything… yet. Nor was she named by Sibley County deputies. Assistant County Attorney Don Lannoye told the Shakopee Valley News that could change.

Facebook responses to her escapade haven’t exactly been sympathetic. One commenter suggested leaving the woman stranded until morning to teach her a lesson. Others were content to simply call her a “dope.” (Neither Belle Plaine nor Shakopee responded to interview requests, and the Sibley County Sheriff’s office declined to comment.)

Mishaps can happen on ziplines even if you aren’t joyriding. In Orlando, a father and his young son were left dangling over a pool of “large alligators” when they got stuck on a zipline in Gatorland last year. Just last month, a Canadian tourist plunged 100 feet to his death when a zipline in northern Thailand snapped.

Owner Lee Kerfoot finds it stunning the woman’s misadventure didn’t end up much worse. He called the unsanctioned zipline ride “highly dangerous” and a “terrible decision.”

“The first thing I thought was, ‘I hope they’re okay,’” he says. “It wasn’t the smartest thing [she] could have done.”

His course has been open since 2013, and this has never happened before. With any luck, it won’t happen again.