Asheville, N.C., is typically among the last places one would expect to find a world-class zipline tour. However, although Puerto Vallarta and Costa Rica have become synonymous with cable-abetted canopy tours — ones lined with virgin forests, white-headed capuchin, and the occasional spotted jaguar — there are quite a few quality offerings dappling the United States if you know where to look. Case in point: Navitat Canopy Adventures ($70+).
Located less than 20 minutes outside of downtown Asheville and abutting the Pisgah National Forest, Navitat’s Moody Cove Adventure offers an experience hard to come by without skirting the globe. The company’s guided tour ferries guests through the Blue Ridge Mountains and forests of Southern Appalachia, providing 360-degree panoramas of the surrounding region only accessible via the tour’s 10 ziplines and assorted high-lofted bridges. A bevy of rappelling stations accompany the aforementioned ziplines, which range from 120 to 1,1000 feet in length and rest more than 200 feet above the forest floor, while three short hikes break up the 3½ -hour expedition and allow guests to survey swaths of red oaks and other ecological sites through an interpretive tour. The high-flying tour is relatively low-risk as far as safety goes as well, featuring a dedicated guide for every four people and a dual-cable system for added security.
Aside from Navitat’s Moody Cove Adventure, the company is also expected to open the Blue Ridge Experience on May 10, 2014. Like the Moody Cove Adventure, the company’s second foray into the realm of ziplines will allow guests to soar side-by-side one another through the western North Carolina mountains using three behemoth ziplines — one topping a massive 3,500 feet in length. Moreover, it includes three scenic hikes, offering expansive views of the surrounding mountains and farmland reaching as far north as Tennessee. We can’t guarantee exotic mammals and fine arabica coffee beans, but rest assured you won’t need a typhoid shot, either.
Check out the Navitat website to book a tour, take a look at the tour’s participant requirements, or simply for more information. Also, Navitat suggests booking at least two weeks in advance of your desired date to ensure your departure time during peak season (summer and fall).
Photo credits: Navitat Canopy Adventures