Are you or your kids big thrill seekers? Zip lining in Ga with various canopy tours and treetop adventure courses is tops on my boys bucket list right now, so we put together this guide to six zip lines in Ga. There’s something for everyone from the age of four on up. In addition to zip lines, most of these outposts also offer canopy treetop adventure courses. Let us know what you think are the best zip lines in Ga and if we’ve missed any, tell us about them.
Historic Banning Mills, Whitesburg
Banning Mills is for the adrenaline junkie. They have the longest and fastest zips, as well as an adventure park, which includes a 600 ft long footbridge and elevated obstacles. These zip tours are guided.
Additional Activities: Banning Mills holds the Guinness World Record for tallest free standing climbing wall (14 stories) and The Power Free Fall, a 10 story controlled drop. (The first step is truly the worst part.) Historic Banning Mills has a complete Inn and Conservation Center with numerous activities.
Unicoi Aerial Adventure Park, Helen
The same folks that do Banning Mills have also built and manage the Unicoi Aerial Adventure Park, so you know it’s going to be good. There are two sections. You must do the first section to proceed to the second that has longer zips and beautiful views over the lake. I would pay the extra for the second section – it’s worth it.
Additional Activities. This course starts next to the Unicoi State Park lodge. There is mountain biking, hiking, ranger programs, as well as several different lodging options from camping, to barrel cabins to lodge rooms.
North Georgia Canopy Tours, Lula
North Georgia Canopy Tours, a guided zip line adventure, is great for the newbie. They start low and slow on the zip line and guides are with you every step of the way making sure you are safe and secure. There are two sky bridges on the tour but it’s mainly zip lines.
Additional Activities: Glamping (aka luxury camping) and disc golf.
Blue Heron Adventure, Columbus
The Blue Heron Adventure zip line takes guests 1,200 feet from Georgia to Alabama, across the Chattahoochee River where whitewater rapids gurgle below. Once in Phoenix City, you’ll fly through the trees side-by-side for 400 feet. If you have young ones with you, skip the zip-line and climb the Blue Heron Aerial Course. Kids 5+ are welcome to balance on floating beams, walk across a wobbly bridge or climb a spider web.
Additional Activities: Whitewater Express offers whitewater rafting along the Chattahoochee River. Go later in the day for larger rapids.
Callaway Gardens TreeTop Adventure, Pine Mountain
This treetop adventure course is 30 feet in the air. There are 19 different obstacles that swing with varying degrees of difficulty. They do have five zips, but it’s mostly the treetop obstacles. This course is self-guided and you must be 54 inches and pass the ground school.
Additional Activities: Callaway Gardens is a complete family resort with lots of activities for all ages and activity levels.
Treetop Quest is at Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center and in Dunwoody. There are six different courses here and you can go through all of them or just some – so it’s an easy or difficult pace – you choose. What I really like is they have courses for kids 4 and up – so you don’t have to leave the little ones home – although prepare them that they won’t be able to go on ALL the courses. There is one course that is all zips, so if you like that, you can do it more than once. I love the combination. This is also self guided.
Additional Activities: TreeTop Quest on the site of the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center includes a high tech cultural center and museum.
Zoo Atlanta’s Treetop Trail
Zoo Atlanta’s new Treetop Trail encourages you “walk on the wild side!” It’s an aerial adventure with ladders, bridges, nets, tightrope-style walking and more. There are no height or age restrictions to partake in the Treetop Trail fun, but you must be able to safely fit in the harness. Kids under 48″ tall need an adult with them to help them through the course.
Five Things to Consider Before Booking a Zip Lining Tour
It’s hard to enjoy flying through the trees when you’re left waiting on the platform for that person in front to peel themselves off the tree. Or worse, to be the one with bark indentation on your hand from your tree hugging death grip. Not all zip line canopy tours are for everyone, but there is likely one that fits your temperament and experience. It helps to know what to look for when you book your tour, and what questions to ask.
Understand the Requirements
Most zip lines and adventure courses have age, height or weight requirements (both minimum and maximum). Be sure you know before you get there if your youngest will be able to participate and if so, to what extent. Even if your child meets the minimum requirements, they may be limited in the zips or course they can do.
What do you want to get out of the Experience
Looking to get over your fear of heights is totally different than seeking the maximum adrenaline rush. Ask questions about the what level of guests they see most often. If you’re new to zip lines, find out if there is a point of no return and the refund policy if you choose not to continue. For the thrill seeker, ask how they pair the groups, will you be waiting all day for that newbie to take the first step?
I thought this was a Zip Line?
Make sure the facility offers the type of experience you are expecting. Some canopy tours are just zip lines. Others offer treetop bridges, and some offer elevated ropes courses with various obstacles with or without zips. If you just want to go on a zip line, ask how many are included in the course. If you really want adventure elements, find out exactly how many and what kind are on the course and if those elements are offered at an additional cost.
Make sure participants are physically up for the tasks.
There is a reason these are called Adventure Tours. You must be able to walk and climb, even on the zip line tours. For the ropes type courses, you’ll be swinging, balancing and using any number of muscles you forgot you had.
Getting a little help from Friends
All adventure courses have staff ready to assist guests. Some tours are guided and others are more self-guided. As you would expect, on a guided tour, guides go with the guests and help them every step of the way, including locking the caribeeners for them. Self-guided tours usually start with a brief instruction period before guests hit the course on their own, with staff available on the ground if needed. Remember to bring a some extra cash to tip your guides after a great experience.