When it’s time to zipline N.C. mountains, there is an abundance of options to get an adrenaline rush like few other locations. North Carolina is home to the country’s first canopy zipline course. Today a few dozen ziplines and aerial adventure parks operate in North Carolina, with a few offering other activities like whitewater rafting with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the U.S. today, there are more than 400 commercial ziplines, up from only about 10 two decades ago. North Carolina ranks supreme with 24 ziplines, the most of any state. A large portion of those ziplines is located in western North Carolina. Did you know that the cables are the same as those found on the deck of aircraft carriers to catch incoming jets?
Let’s see what it takes to get ready to hook on to the cable to experience a thrilling mountaintop zip line tour high in the mountains, above the trees and able to see for miles around.
It is natural to be excited, mixed in with apprehension or anxiety, about a zip line adventure for the first time or a repeat trip. Take a few moments to plan and prepare for the trip. Yes, it’s fun and exhilarating, but plan ahead to avoid any problems.
First, make sure to wear the proper attire for ziplining high above the trees while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The company will usually have a list of do’s and don’ts posted regarding attire and additional safety guidelines for visitors.
Pay close attention during the onsite safety review, then grab a helmet and get ready to have a thrilling zipline experience. And although very tempting, resist the urge to snap a selfie while on the zipline.
Since North Carolina was the first to introduce the zipline canopy tour, the outdoor activity has thrived throughout the state. Visitors have a wide range of zipline options to choose from depending on the level of aerial adventure they want to experience.
North Carolina ziplines include:
Ziplining is mostly year-round in North Carolina, with spring and summer being the peak seasons. And fall, as the air is turning a bit chilly, provides spectacular views of the annual colors of fall foliage. This is always a great time to visit the area.
The Gorge Zipline Canopy Adventure in Saluda, North Carolina, soars above the others as the longest zipline in the state. The course spans 1.25 miles and takes about 3.5 hours to complete. In addition, the Gorge has the distinction as the steepest zipline – 1,100 vertical feet – in the country. The course, incorporating 18,000 acres near the Smoky Mountains, comprises 11 zipline sections includes three rappels and a sky bridge to take in the picturesque mountain views from miles away.
It’s all treetop adventure here along the Green River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The property, located in Western North Carolina, is a short drive south of Hendersonville near the state border.
Sure, it’s an adventure to go ziplining over a canopy of trees or between two mountain peaks. Bring it on is the chant of thrill-seekers everywhere. But it’s wise to remain cautious regarding safety risks that come along with this activity. Before stepping into the harness, putting on other gear and clipping to the zipline cable, preparation ahead of time is critical to ensure all is safe.
Ziplines should be avoided by anyone who has a heart condition, is recovering from surgery, can’t walk or stand without assistance, suffers from epilepsy, or is prone to panic episodes. In addition, pregnant women are restricted from ziplines.
It may also be advised that those who get motion sickness take medication before combat feeling nauseous while on the cable.
In general terms, yes, ziplining is safe for seniors. Most parks have minimum age requirements but do not have a maximum age restriction. So outside of any physical or medical limitations, they may have seniors, like anyone else, who can zip as they wish. Although seniors may opt for a beginner course closer to the ground or say “once and done,” they can clip on to the zip cable too.
As more people look to cross off a few adventures on their bucket lists, seniors are looking to do the same. In some cases, there may be a few additional safety questions to answer to ensure they are up for the challenge, but overall the sky’s the limit.
Staying warm is the main focus when enjoying outdoor activities. Cold weather will call for layers of clothing that can be adjusted as needed throughout the day while ziplining.
Dressing for the weather is important, especially when it’s cold out since ziplining involves high elevations and fast speeds. Flying through the air on a cold day can seem fun until factoring in the wind and things quickly turn blustery. A facemask will certainly come in handy to block the direct blow of cold wind.
It goes without saying that you should not unhook from the zipline cable until you are It goes without saying that you should not unhook from the zipline cable until you are safely on a platform. A misstep, while not connected to the cable, can result in falling. Pay attention and don’t rush through the section.
In addition, do not take off other safety gear like your helmet. This is protection for hour head while traversing the course.
Avoid trying to stop or brake in the middle of a run; this can cause a collision with the person coming behind you, or the line may falter, putting all at risk. It’s best to hang on and land at the upcoming platform rather than stop midway.
The Highlands Aerial Park is a short drive from Highlands, not far from the North Carolina border with South Carolina. The 95-acre park attracts visitors from a three-state radius and offers a variety of courses from beginners to more advanced challenges along with other activities.
Visitors can select either a full mountaintop zipline tour or the half mountaintop tour to capture the natural beauty of Highlands from the air. There are tour guides along for the ride to help everyone navigate the course.
A short drive east of Highlands is The Vordach Zip Line, a popular destination in the Sapphire Valley. The Vordach includes a low and high course offering a full family experience. The zip line, a part of the Sapphire Valley Resort, takes visitors up in the old-growth canopy to take stunning views of the valleys below.
Like driving a car, ziplining requires your full attention and both hands while on the cable. This is not the time to pose for a selfie. If the phone being close at hand is a must, make sure it’s buried in a pocket that zips and won’t come open as you move around. Most parks ask visitors to leave phones behind or store them in a secure locker.
It’s best to leave phones safely on the ground, so they are not lost from the high perch of a zipline platform or while trying to take a selfie in midair. Consider renting a helmet outfitted with a camera to record the trip safely.
Many zipline parks have minimum weight and height standards along with maximum weight limits, so the equipment fits properly. The minimum weight limit is usually 60 pounds or more, with the maximum level at about 275 pounds. The theory here for weight is about physics.
Think of it this way: a person who weighs less than 60 pounds may not generate enough momentum or force as they go from one line to another. However, in reverse, if the person is heavier than 275 pounds, they will pick up more speed and may find it harder to come to a complete stop on the platform. Both situations can be risky at the high altitudes of a zipline course. Check about weight requirements when booking the trip so there are no surprises upon arrival and a member of the group is not allowed to participate.
Plan to visit North Carolina to experience the thrill of ziplining in the mountains and enjoy accommodations at a luxury vacation rental a short drive away. Select an exclusive Landmark property close to the action of a zipline course or canopy tour. Contact Landmark Vacation Rentals today at (877) 926-1780 or browse the portfolio of North Carolina vacation rental properties and choose where you’ll relax after an exciting day outside.