Bungee jumping is not a sport for the faint of heart. Leaping from a bridge at heights as high as 300 feet with nothing but an elastic rope between you and your destination below is quite the adrenalin rush. Pennsylvania ranks third for most bridges, coming in at 25,000 state-owned bridges. With many of these bridges towering over rivers and gorges at the perfect height for a daring plunge, it's no wonder so many out-of-state adventure outlets trek to Pennsylvania for its tethered thrills.
Many county fairs in the state have amusement companies offering bungee jumping from a crane, but many claim it's only real if you are jumping from a bridge or other permanent structure.
Over the Edge Adventures
Over the Edge Adventures has over 22 years experience with bungee jumping adventures. The Ohio-based company is one of the few official bungee companies in the entire Eastern United States and, because of its proximity to some of the best high jumping bridges in the nation, organizes a large portion of its jumping in Western and Central Pennsylvania. The company sticks strictly to bridge jumps-- no cranes or other structures.
Popular Over the Edge jump sites in Pennsylvania include: Rubbles Run, 229 feet; Ohiopyle, 110 feet; Moshannon Viaduct, 112 feet; Buffalo, 300 feet; Salisbury Viaduct, 120 feet; East Branch Viaduct, 130 feet; and Stoney Creek, 175 feet. Over the Edge organizes jumps year-round, weather permitting.
Adrenalin Dreams Adventures
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based Adrenalin Dreams Adventures is a film stunt company first, providing riveting, action-filled stunts for movies. However, the adventure company also utilizes its expertise in creating a safe, exciting bungee jumping experience by way of providing its crew for jump site set-up. Adrenalin Dreams Adventures will provide gear, training and set-up at a safe jump site, whether it is a crane, bridge or other structure. These set-up services are geared toward entrepreneurs looking to offer the bungee jumping experience to others, however you can also contact the company about set-up for private jumping events. Adrenalin Dreams also provides a 25-hour training program where attendees can become certified jump masters in this extreme sport.
What to Expect at Your Jump
Bungee jumpers can expect their experience to last about an hour, with training, gearing up and jumping. No special clothing is required, but do dress comfortably for the weather. Loose hanging accessories such as glasses and necklaces should be removed. Jumps are done wearing a full body harness, however some more daring jumpers may opt to wear ankle harnesses.
Weight limits and rules vary between jump companies, but to give you an idea, at Over the Edge, jumpers must be 18 years old or older, weigh 220 pounds or less and not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Pennsylvania Bungee Jumping Law
Bungee jumping accidents are few and far between, but due the extreme nature of the sport, severe accidents and fatalities can occur. Accidents can result from structures not holding up and from incorrectly measuring the cord properly in relation to the height of the jump. For these reasons, always check the licenses and credentials of the bungee jumping company, as well as the condition of its equipment.
Many states have laws surrounding bungee jumping and others prohibit it altogether. Pennsylvania permits the recreational activity but does heavily regulate bungee jumping operations; those requirements can be found in Pa. Code 139a.21. through 139a.21.56. Some examples of rules include the qualifications of the jump master and how many staff need to be present on a jump.
Since 2000 Donna T. Beerman has contributed to newspapers and magazines. Her expertise includes higher education, marketing and social media, and her presentations and writing have won industry awards. She has an MFA in creative writing, is the integrated marketing manager at a Pennsylvania college and founded "Hippocampus Magazine."