Adventure Travel Attractions in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
Navitat Canopy Adventures high adventure zip line canopy tour
Photo Credit: Corinne Krogh / © Navitat Canopy Adventures
Ancient and majestic, the Appalachian Mountains grace western North Carolina with spectacular vistas, dense forests, stunning waterfalls, diverse wildlife and so much more. Zip lines and canopy tours offer unique and adventurous ways to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. While some tours operate seasonally, others operate year round, weather permitting. Several options to consider include:
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- Navitat Canopy Adventures
The 240 acre North Carolina flagship location of Navitat Canopy Adventures (pictured above) features tree-based, high adventure via a series of tree platforms connected by zip lines, sky-bridges, trails and rappels, offering a memorable way to experience the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tours, each lasting about three and one-half hours, include day and night options. Navitat operates rain or shine, although severe weather such as lightning or sustained high windy conditions may cause tours to be canceled for safety reasons.
Location: Navitat Canopy Adventures is located about 18 miles north of downtown Asheville, North Carolina (approximately a 20 to 25 minute drive) and ten miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Stoney Fork Road Exit. The address is 242 Poverty Branch Road, Barnardsville, North Carolina 28709.
More Information: Navitat Canopy Adventures Website
- Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours
Situated in the scenic Nantahala Gorge area of the Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina, Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours features more than 20 acres of multiple ecosystems alternating between slope side, trees, and platforms with forest, waterfall, lake and mountain views. During the approximately three and one-half hour adventure, rangers offer a personal guided experience, highlighting natural features and wildlife along the course. Onsite lodging at Falling Waters Adventure Resort includes a group lodge and yurt glamping (glamorous camping). Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours is open through Thanksgiving weekend (closed Thanksgiving Day).
Location: Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours is located about 75 miles west of Asheville and 12 miles west of Bryson City, North Carolina at Falling Waters Adventure Resort. The physical address is 10320 US 19 West, Bryson City, North Carolina 28713.
More Information: Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours Website
- Hawksnest Zip Line
Centrally located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the North Carolina High Country near Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, and Valle Crucis, Hawksnest Zip Line offers cable and swinging bridge tours through the trees and over lakes and creeks at speeds up to 35 miles per hour or 50 miles per hour depending on which course you choose. Each zip line tour lasts from one and one-half to two hours. The Zip Line operates year round, including in the snow. Hawksnest also offers seasonal snow tubing.
Location: Hawksnest Zip Line is located off of Highway 105 South between Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. The address is 2058 Skyland Drive, Seven Devils, North Carolina 28604.
More Information: Hawksnest Zip Line Website
- Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures
Conveniently located within the Asheville city limits just about one mile from the central downtown area, Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures is the area's first urban canopy adventure. Open year round (weather permitting), the zip line course is designed with progressively increasing heights and lengths including scenic views of the mountains and of the Asheville skyline. In addition, there is an onsite treetop adventure park with climbing, zipping, walking, jumping, swinging, and rappelling challenges.
Location: Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures is located Off Patton Avenue behind Regent Park, adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Resort (Compare Rates) about one mile from the center of downtown Asheville. Directions: I-240 to Exit 3A (left lane exit) to Patton Avenue. Turn right at the second traffic light onto Regent Park Drive. Turn left onto Expo Drive. Asheville Treetops Adventure Park and Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures are at the top of the hill on the left.
More Information: Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures Website
- Plumtree Canopy Tours
Located in the North Carolina High Country, Plumtree Canopy Tours is owned and operated by the Vance Toe River Lodge. In addition to a three hour zip line adventure complete with sky bridges, each canopy tour includes lunch after morning tours or before afternoon tour or Sunday Brunch at the Vance Toe River Lodge. Seasonal tours operate on scheduled days from April through October.
Location: Plumtree Canopy Tours is located on US Hwy 19E, 5 miles from Linville Gorge and 14 miles north of Spruce Pine. The physical address of the Vance Toe River Lodge is 4716 South US Highway 19E, Plumtree, North Carolina 28664.
More Information: Plumtree Canopy Tours Reservations Information
- Sky Valley Zip Tours
Opened in May 2012, this three-hour guided canopy tour begins with an off-road ATV ride through the river and up the mountain and then flies through the trees hundreds of feet above the forest floor, through the air and past scenic mountain slopes. Adding to the zip lines adventure, the course includes a cliff jump, a swinging bridge, a leap of faith and more. Reasonably priced gourmet lunches featuring authentic modern mountain cuisine are available for purchase when making your reservations. Canopy tours are offered in the spring, summer and fall.
Location: Sky Valley Zip Tours is located at Camp Sky Ranch, approximately six miles from downtown Boone, five miles from downtown Blowing Rock and about three miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The physical address is 634 Sky Ranch Road, Blowing Rock, North Carolina 28605.
More Information: Sky Valley Zip Tours Website
- Earthshine Mountain Lodge
A great family friendly destination, Earthshine Mountain Lodge is an all-inclusive rustic mountain resort that features interactive and adventure activities for all ages. It was the first facility in the United States to have a zip line canopy tour. The zip line tour is included in the overnight rate for resort guests, or visitors may enjoy ziplining for the day for a per person fee. Plan to spend about two and one-half hours for the tour. Advance reservations are required. Meals by reservation are also available with at least 24 hours notice. (As an aside for another unique adventure, Earthshine Mountain Lodge serves as the base camp for themed Hunger Games Fan Tours.)
Location: Earthshine Mountain Lodge is located about 48 miles south of Asheville, accessed from US-64 (to Silversteen Road and then to Golden Road). The physical address is 1600 Golden Road, Lake Toxaway, North Carolina 28747.
More Information: Earthshine Mountain Lodge Website