Ziplines originally were invented for just two functions: sneaking hamburgers over the Berlin Wall and zazzing up presidential entrances to State of the Union addresses. Zip through nature with today's Groupon: for $85, you get a zipline tour for two at ZipQuest in Fayetteville (a $170 value).
The guided 2.5-hour zipline and canopy tour at ZipQuest takes explorers through serene forests, across tranquil streams, and past the rushing cascades of Carver’s Falls. Each zipline adventure begins with an orientation on equipment, safety, and dodging cardinal bombardiers before a foliage sherpa takes eligible gliders ages 10 and older along runs that wind and snake through 16 tree-house platforms and three Indiana Jones–style suspension bridges. Sky hikers can fine-tune the pace of their expedition depending on which of the eight ziplines they ride, coasting quickly over the fast lines and savoring extended periods of canopy sailing over the distance lines. Adventurers also come into contact with a unique assortment of flowers, plants, and trees as they fly over the beautiful scenery of Carver's Falls. The tour's grand finale sends drifters across a lengthy zipline running parallel to the waterfall that ends in a soft heap of forest-grown Jell-O moss.
For a few centuries, Carver’s Falls was closed to the public, and it's easy to see how much the area benefited from that solitude. The natural beauty of its forests and the waterfall at its heart have flourished. But today, the tree canopy has been transformed into an aerial playground. Wires cross the sky, connecting tree to tree. Every day, ZipQuest's guides lead birds-eye tours of the pristine landscape on their expansive zipline network or via the Swing Shot that pendulums vertiginously above Carver's Creek.
Whether the lighting comes from the sun or helmet-mounted lamps, no fewer than two experienced guides lead guests through Carver's Falls' 2.5-hour course. Adventurers fly down eight ziplines—each designed for a long, leisurely glide or an adrenaline-pumping plunge—while pointing out local flora and fauna. Groups pause only to disembark on high platforms anchored to centuries-old trees. Floating spiral staircases and sky bridges, the longest of which stretches 210 feet, interconnect the platforms. A suspension bridge carries explorers over the falls to a penultimate zipline that runs parallel to its creek. At the end of the run, guests catch their breath while looking through the pictures their camera-wielding guide took.