Canopy Tours are guided experiences using ziplines and bridges to travel through the trees. Natural interpretation, a sensation of flying, gaining a new perspective on trees and terrain, thrilling personal challenge and group interaction are all part of a canopy tour. Rangers lead groups of 8 to 10 people on an aerial trek while providing instruction, giving assistance and sharing stories, taking time to enjoy new vistas.
An aerial Adventure park like Asheville Treetops Adventure Park is a self guided set of challenges similar to a High Ropes Course. Training and equipment is given at the start and then it is up to you to chose your next move, park assistants are available for help if needed. A modern park will have different levels of difficulty to challenge a range of abilities. Most Adventure Parks include some kind of ziplines but they are not the main focus.
Canopy Tours are designed in the trees and around nature for adventure, education, beauty and for participant involvement. There will most often be between 10 and 17 elements including ziplines, tree platforms, bridges, stairs and sometimes rappels woven together into a complete experience in a special environment. Ziplines are often shorter “thrill rides” with fewer elements, less learning, less participant involvement and often traverse open fields with little sun protection and sometimes simply cross over parking lots.
Canopy Tours and Aerial Adventure Parks are designed with safety in mind. Certified builders, engineering and regular inspections are a part of all our courses. ACCT standards are used in construction, inspections and training of staff. When participating in any adventure sport is up to you to listen, learn and follow instruction. Your participation in your own safety is critical to your well being. Arial activities like most outdoor adventures are safest when you stay alert, follow instruction and enjoy the experience. However, due to the nature of whitewater rafting and other associated activities, Wildwater Ltd. and its affiliates assume no responsibility for personal safety or loss of personal property. All participants are required to complete a personal liability and photo release form before their trip. Really safe, no, reasonably safe, yes.
Join the crowd; most of us are afraid of heights and that is part of what makes Canopy Tours fun, exciting and challenging. We will start with basic instruction and practice before tackling any of the big stuff.
No, as long as you are less than 250 pounds, you are good to go. On most courses there will be stairs and or hills to climb, you must evaluate your own ability to climb stairs and walk on uneven terrain. On the Pigeon River Canopy Tour their is a very long set of stairs called the Stairway to Heaven, the climb is long but the final zipline payoff is huge.
You will be outside for up to three hours so dress appropriately for the expected weather. Personal safety harnesses will have straps that go around your upper thighs, so longer shorts are advisable. Straps over the shoulders are more comfortable if you have a collard shirt. Ball caps are not permitted since they restrict vision and make for a poor helmet fit. Beanies in cold weather are appropriate, fit under helmets well and will help keep you warm. Sunglasses or any glasses with a strap are fine. Jewelry should generally be removed and left in your locked car. Empty your pockets for a better harness fit and for comfort. Long hair should be pulled back and restrained.
We go rain or shine. Dress appropriately for the expected weather. In the case of high winds or lightning we will delay, cancel or cut a trip short, rescheduling or a prorated refund will be offered.
Do to the nature of following instruction, predicting behavior and general height issues we require all participants be 8 years or older (each youth under 12 must be with an adult). Weight has a large impact on traveling speeds; lighter people will travel slower and may not make it to the end, larger people will travel faster and have to brake more while zipping. Harnesses and cables are rated for large weights but traveling speed and control can be a big issue for heavier people. Ages 8 or older for Canopy Tours; Weight must be between 60 and 250 pounds for Canopy Tours. The Asheville Adventure Park has slightly broader standards.
Participants will have the choice to challenge the trails they feel comfortable with at their own pace and move around the park individually instead of in a group like a canopy tour experience. Think of it as ski slopes in the trees and a true “Jungle Gym” for all ages, strengths and adventure levels. This is made possible by new technology called “smart belays” designed to assure Participants are attached to safety systems at all times and can not detach from the system until they have completed the aerial trail and are back on the ground. Guests can explore freely knowing the safety system monitors their attachments and is designed to not allow accidental unclipping from the safety points. It is an active adventure that incorporates physical fitness and personal accomplishment. You will travel from 10 to 50 feet off the ground.