My husband and I recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We had tickets to visit The Gorge in Saluda, NC, so we celebrated by taking a 3.5 hour Zip Line Canopy Tour. My husband is somewhat afraid of heights, but he agreed to go, and I was nervous to the point of literally shaking until about the third zipline on the course. It was something new, adventurous, and an experience we will never forget.
Upon arriving at Honey Bee Lane, we approached a metal building overlooking the Green River Gorge. The building, which appeared simple on the outside, was very impressive with its inside architecture. It was new and clean, with an awesome deck for people to check out the amazing view over the gorge. After checking in and weighing in (no worries – it’s confidential), we had a few moments to take in the place before suiting up. We met our guides and the rest of the group we would be ziplining with while putting on our harnesses. Our guides were completely relaxed and put everyone at ease before heading out. Their enjoyment of being part of The Gorge Canopy Tours made the trip that much more fun.
After reviewing safety procedures and how-tos, we had a short practice run on a line about 15 feet long with a platform underneath. I was impressed by the redundancy of their safety practices. While I still held on to a rope or a tree practically the entire time, it did ease my mind to know that I was never actually unhooked from the ropes unless I was on the ground. I was also thankful for the hands-free breaking system that helped us stop at each platform.
Standing on the edge of the first platform made me nervous, because it’s one of the longest ziplines on the course and the platform we were landing on could not be seen. I stepped off and was immediately captivated by a moment of awe as I zipped through treetops.
The course takes visitors on a 1,100 foot decent through 11 zip lines, 3 rappels, and a sky bridge. All this is done while taking in views of over 10,000 acres of protected forest, including views of the Green River.
After finishing the course, my husband and I visited downtown Saluda for lunch. We agreed that even though the thought of speeding through the treetops while hanging from a cord was scary at first, the trip was well worth the thrill.
The cost for a Canopy Tour is $95 per adult (a USB with your trip pictures is about $20 extra). While it’s possible to hike around Western North Carolina and enjoy the beauty of the mountains for free, this experience gives people a breathtaking trip into the Green River Gorge. You will not experience the beauty of WNC in the same way with your feet on the ground. If you’re looking for an exciting way to travel on a path that’s not walked, but still safely charted…try The Gorge Canopy Tours.
Quick tips: Canopy Tours run rain or shine, so check the weather before booking your trip. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and don’t wear shorts that ride up easily as you’re hooked into a harness for several hours. If vising during the summer months, the temperature is cooler in the morning hours and many trips are completed by lunchtime (Downtown Saluda is a great place to find a tasty restaurant for lunch after your trip).
For more information about The Gorge, visit thegorgezipline.com. Also, watch the video below, which was taken by one of our guides during our trip.
Video and pictures were taken during our trip courtesy of the The Gorge staff.