Ziplining tours were invented in Costa Rica in the ‘70s after graduate students took rock climbing harnesses and used cables to study inaccessible flora and fauna in the rain forest. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Before you go gliding through the air, you will have to put on a harness that attaches to a ziplining cable via a carabiner. This method is extremely safe. Photo Hawksnest Ziplining
Once you are secured into your harness, you will stand on a platform for takeoff. Some of the zipline cables in the High Country reach speeds up to 50 mph. Photo by Ken Ketchie
With some of the best zipline tours along the East Coast, the High Country is the place to be if you want a thrilling adventure. Photo from Hawksnest Ziplining
While some zipline courses take you through a canopy forest, others glide you through an open meadow, where you can see the rolling hills of the High Country to the horizon. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Hawksnest in Seven Devils has the longest zipline tour on the East Coast with 20 cables – including four that are known in the industry as “super or mega” cables. Photo by Ken Ketchie

▶ OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Ziplining
in the High Country

Ziplining is a ridiculously fun activity, and no adventure compares to gliding through a canopy forest or flying above rolling hillsides of the Blue Ridge that dip and dive as far as the eye can see. With some of the best zipline tours along the East Coast, the High Country is the place to be if you want a thrilling adventure. Check out the outfitters, which offer packages for families and groups as small as two individuals.


Sky Valley Zip Tours

Phone: 1-855-475-9947
Address: 634 Sky Ranch Rd, Blowing Rock, NC
Phone: www.SkyValleyZipTours.com

Located a mere three miles from Boone and 4.5 miles from Blowing Rock at the 140-acre Camp Sky Ranch, the Sky Valley Canopy Tours offers a unique blend of the High Country’s diverse landscape, nestled along a creek and tucked into the countryside. The course has nine ziplines, cliff jumping and a swinging bridge to enhance the three-hour tours. Groups are limited to 10 people and escorted by at least two trained professionals.

During peak season, which runs from May to November, morning and afternoon groups are offered. Sky Valley Canopy Tours operates seven days a week from April to November. Participants must be 10 years of age and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds.

Pricing: The three-hour tour costs $79 per person and for an extra $10, the Gamekeeper Restaurant, one of the premiere eateries in the High Country, will provide lunch. To make reservations call 1-855-475-9947 and for more information, visit the website.

Directions: From NC 105 in Boone, turn left on Wilson Drive at Sagebrush. Then take a right on Winkler’s Creek Road and another right to continue on Winkler’s Creek Road. For about three miles continue on Winkler’s Creek Road until to you come to Sky Ranch Road, which will be a sharp left. Continue for one-half mile.


Hawksnest Resort

Phone: 828-963-6561
Address: 2058 Skyland Dr, Seven Devils, NC
Phone: www.HawksnestZipline.com

Hawksnest in Seven Devils has the longest zipline tour on the East Coast with 20 cables, four of which are known in the industry as super or mega zips. Two of the super cables run more than 2,000 feet, while the other two extend more than 1,500 feet. In all, the zipline course at Hawksnest is four miles long, reaches a height of more than 200 feet and speeds of up to 50 mph. Experience the spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you glide over and through the trees and above the lakes and creeks.

Hawksnest offers two tours. The Hawk Tour is an 11-cable tour with two swinging bridges that cover 1.5 miles of cable riding. This tour has speeds up to 35 mph. Children must be at least 5 years old, and riders can’t be more than 250 pounds or have a waist larger than 40 inches. The Eagle Tour is a nine-cable tour with a swinging bridge that offers almost three miles of cable riding. Speeds reach up to 50 mph, and children must be at least 8 years old. Rides can’t be more than 220 pounds or have a waist larger than 40 inches.

Pricing: The Hawk Tour costs $75 per person and the Eagle Tour costs $85 per person. Hawksnest is open year round, seven days a week with tours at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. To make reservations, call 828-963-6561 and for more information, visit the website.

Directions: Hawksnest is located off of NC 105 South in between Boone and Banner Elk. From Boone, drive about 10 miles and take a right onto 7 Devils Road. Then drive up the mountain until you come to Skyland Drive and then take a left. Follow Skyland Drive for a few minutes until you come to Hawksnest Resort.