Flying Through the Trees: The Best Zipline Adventures in the Smoky Mountains
Ziplining can either be the thrill a lifetime, or someone’s worst fear. Often it’s both.
But when people who initially would never dream of soaring dozens of feet above solid ground finally try it, they wonder why they were so scared in the first place – and why it took so long to give it a whirl. You might share that sentiment when you try this exhilarating activity right here in Smokies, close the National Park.
With the extensive forests of tall, sturdy and mature trees, the areas around Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge provide an ideal backdrop for ziplining, and for people of all ages. The seemingly impossible lengths and heights upon which you’ll soar take practically no time at all to cross, especially when you feel the rush of flying from one platform to the next, speeding past the greenery as any birds would.
While you truly only have a harness attached to a long cable to support you, you’ll be in good hands with the guides and leaders who prioritize your personal safety. Every precaution will be in place before you take your first leap. Courses often take several hours to complete, with anywhere from five to twelve lines of various lengths to glide along.
The Smoky Mountains area offers several different ziplining companies to choose from, and we’ve listed our favorites here:
Best Zipline Adventures in the Smoky Mountains
Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park, Sevierville
This family-friendly activity center features the highest zipline around, the Goliath, which will take you 475 feet above Dunn’s Creek. Another course, the Scenic Canopy Tour, consists of seven lines, with one going 250 feet above a waterfall. There’s also the longest swinging bridge in the U.S, a climbing wall and hiking trails. Check into getting the all-inclusive packages to do it all.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines, Pigeon Forge
The two guides who are part of every group here start you off gradually, or “low and slow.” You’ll then fly on higher and fastere lines, which are part of the longest zip course in town. Try the 800-foot long, 100-foot high side-by-side super zip lines, where you can race three others down to the bottom, but not before you’ve exhausted your excitement levels for the day.
Rafting in the Smokies, Gatlinburg
While this establishment is more known for its whitewater rafting, its zipline facilities are quickly gaining in popularity. The best value for your money is scheduling your ziplining as the same day as your rafting trip. The canopy tour here will take you on six lines and two skybridges for a total of 2,400 feet.
You’ll be airborne for nearly 2½ hours, going on nine ziplines connected from one treetop to the next and three skybridges, after ascending 400 feet on a half-mile ATV ride up. There is also a surprise at the end of the tour, which isn’t revealed on the website. Simply enjoy the breathtaking landscape and the sensation of flying as you speed through the forest.
Legacy Mountain Ziplines, Sevierville
One of the newest zipline companies in the area is also its first eco-friendly one, which means you’ll see more the untouched and undeveloped Smoky Mountain forest. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a thrilling experience on their seven lines, which run up to 2,500 feet long and 450 feet off the ground.