Location: Barnardsville, North Carolina
Webpage: Theme Parks
General Description: Navitat provides a fully guided tour that showcases the beauty of the North Carolina mountains in a 100% tree-based zipline tour. The tour consists of 10 ziplines, 2 rappels out of the tree canopies and 3 sky bridges between trees. The ziplines range from 120 to 1100 feet traveling through the canopy. Safety is critical so the two guides on the tour handle all the exchanges of your lines so you are never unhooked from a cable while off the ground. Unless you have a fear of heights, there is never a sense of danger.
1) We had done a zipline course in Branson, Missouri a few years ago so Kal and I know what to expect. However, this was a new experience for Bryna and Chris. Without a doubt, we all enjoyed the experience and would do it again at a drop of a hat. There is nothing easier then sitting back and riding a zipline through the trees. Whereas, the tour in Branson consisted of a half dozen zips, this tour with 10 zips was a lot better. One zip over 800 feet long went from one side of the cove to the other and in the center you were easily over 200 feet off the ground with nothing between you and the ground. There were two zips that completely enclosed you in the canopy of the trees to such an extent that you could not see the platform you were traveling to. You were required to provide your own braking on the zips, but this was easily accomplished with a gloved hand on the zipline. By the second or third zip we were all trying to adjust our speed to land on the step they used to unhook you from the zipline.
2) This was the first time we had ever rappeled down a rope to get out of a tree and found the technique to be easy. The distance was only about 50 feet, so there was not a lot of room for mistakes. Even then, the rope was run through a braking mechanism so even if you let go of the rope you would not descend very quickly at all.
3) The tour takes the better part of 3 hours and it was certainly the highlight of the trip. Ziplines are a HOOT and I strongly recommend them for a bit of adventure. You can even get good guides that know a lot about the forests, like the forest recreation major on our tour, that talked a good bit about the forests, plants, and animals. A great experience I would repeat if we get the chance. I should also mention that they are in the process of adding a second tour. This tour will only be two or three zips and take only about an hour. However, the zips will be much longer (over 1000 feet) and the one line we could see already in place went from one ridge to the other across the cove meaning over 300 feet above the ground. While this maybe more thrilling, I would prefer the zips through the canopy.