By Darryl Payne
Posted on June 19, 2017
If you've always wanted a bird's eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains, ziplining is the way to go. Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge has seven amazing lines that take you on a two-hour, jaw-dropping canopy tour.
What's a Zipline?
A zipline is a network of suspended cables anchored to allow riders in sling harnesses to move smoothly between elevated platforms. Ziplining provides beautiful panoramic views and a sense of freedom like no other experience.
Smoky Mountain Zipline tours are installed in the lush forests of the Smokies. As you zip from one elevated platform to another, you'll see vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian forests.
Is it Safe?
Yes, ziplining is very safe - even for kids. Smoky Mountain Ziplines use ½" 6x26 galvanized wire rope with a minimum breaking strength of 26,000 pounds - that's 13 tons - so even if you had a really big breakfast, you never need to worry about the cable snapping.
However, there are age and weight limits. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines you must be at least eight years old to ride, and you must weigh at least 60 pounds, but not more than 275 pounds. The weight requirements are not to keep the cable from breaking; the rigging is designed to hold the weight of a car. However, zippers who weigh too little may not have the momentum to complete the ride, and riders who are over the weight limit may not be able to brake properly.
Ziplining may not be a good idea for people who have heart trouble, recent surgeries, casts, problems standing for long periods, or a history of epilepsy or panic attacks.
What Does Ziplining Feel Like?
First time? Nervous? You're probably wondering what ziplining feels like. If you don't like that stomach-dropping feeling you get on roller coasters, don't worry - ziplining doesn't feel like riding a roller coaster. Because you're moving forward and at a gentle decline all the time, it only feels like flying, not like falling.
Have a fear of heights? Dedicated zipliners who usually don't like being up high say keeping an eye in the distance allows them to enjoy the ride. In fact, many zipliners who have a fear of heights are first in line to go again once they've tried it. Convinced?
What to Wear
It's a good idea to wear sturdy pants or long shorts (not yoga pants or sweatpants) and a shirt with sleeves to avoid irritation from harness straps. Wear closed-toed shoes and bring a jacket if it's chilly or raining.
Enjoying the Ride
Smoky Mountain Zipline tours last about two hours from the time you reach the mountain until your return to base camp. After a safety and training briefing, you'll gear up and get to your first line by off-road vehicle. Once there, your guides will always be with you to ensure your safety, send you off and catch you, crack plenty of jokes, and help everyone have a good time.
After you enjoy a couple of hours of breathtaking Smoky Mountain scenery, you'll head back to base camp, where you can see professional photos of your tour and compare notes with other zippers over free non-alcoholic drinks.
What's New at Smoky Mountain Ziplines
Smoky Mountain Ziplines has the largest and newest tours in Pigeon Forge. Because it has over 4,200 feet of cable and massive towers, you'll have the best views in the Smokies. You'll get up the mountain via an M35a3 military truck, a neat experience in itself. The all-new course replaces the previous courses to give the trees a break, and to provide a new experience if you've toured with Smoky Mountain Ziplines in the past. The new course also features a thrilling rappel feature that will enhance your adventure.
Did You Have Fun? There's Plenty More!
If you have fun at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you might want to experience other tour operators in the area. In Wears Valley, Adventure Park at Five Oaks has multiple zipline tours through 70 acres of forest and mountain scenery. You can choose from two, seven, or nine lines, and tour choices include a nighttime ride that may be the highlight of your vacation.
Also in Pigeon Forge is Legacy Mountain Ziplines, a tour operator with seven lines that you can ride through 400 acres and more than five miles of Smoky Mountain scenery. Both of these operators require riders to weigh at least 100 pounds, and not more than 275 pounds.
Ziplining is a safe, fun, and unique way to experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you bring your own friends or meet new ones on the ride, flying through the trees is an experience you'll be talking about long after you return home.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.