Climbing in Cleveland

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Ocoee Zipz lifts its riders off the ground and transports them to new lands along seven lines named after beloved Wizard of Oz characters and featuring varying grades, distances, and terrain. Staff members, aptly nicknamed The Flying Monkeys of Oz, help adventure seekers soar above Ocoee's 40 acres of rustic scenery during two-hour zipline tours. Tours begin at the 30-foot-high Cowardly Lion launch tower, where fraidy cats find the courage they need to skim the tops of trees. The Dorothy line zooms along the Ocoee River to meet up with the Toto tower across a swinging bridge, where cushy crash pads wait with loving arms to catch especially enthusiastic zippers. Guests may try an upside-down dive off the Scarecrow tower, then test their speed on the Wicked Witch of the West line, which features a steep enough grade to get patrons up to 45 mph. Like Shakespearian arguments or family reunions, Ocoee Zipz's tours end with a duel on The Wizard's parallel lines, as participants race their way to the finish.

1985 Hwy. 64 Old Copper Rd.
Ocoee,
Tennessee
US

Tennessee Bouldering Authority's staff design climbing paths that pose physical and mental challenges across nearly 3,000 square feet of rock-climbing space. The team upholds a philosophy centered entirely around bouldering, a discipline that allows climbers to move unencumbered by belay systems and unbidden visions of their rope turning into a snake. Meanwhile, away from the rock walls, guests in workout classes use weights, training boards, and gymnastic rings to add some diversity to their exercise sessions. Energetic music blasts from a sound system during yoga classes, while climbers yodel their own workout beats on guided outdoor-climbing trips.

3804 Saint Elmo Ave.
Chattanooga,
TN
US

The thrilling courses at Daredevil Ziplines were originally built for the adrenaline junkies on the finale of the action series The Controller: Medal of Honor Warfighter. Happy shrieks now spiral out from members of the general public as they hit the 50 mile-per-hour speeds experienced by the stars of the show. The Dare Ya! ride whisks participants downhill for 600 feet before being stopped abruptly on the bungee braking system, which then sends them whipping out over a lake and stopping gently. They then glide down among sweet-smelling pine boughs and make a soft landing.

The Aerial Challenge combines a zipline with an aerial obstacle course, including a suspended log walk, ladders, a swinging bridge and platform, and rope walks. Riders can end the challenge with a short walk to a bridge overlooking the Tuck spring, which flows from the roots of a century old oak tree. Streams babble above and below the ground, carving the limestone into organic-looking curlicues covered with moss and ferns like somebody who won?t get off the Jurassic Park ride.

4432 Cave Springs Rd. SW
Rome,
GA
US

A seasoned purveyor of outdoor sporting equipment, River Sports Outfitters' adventure experts put gear to work on indoor climbing walls and local kayaking excursions. Rock-top scramblers suit up in provided harness and shoes at the climbing gym, lined with vertical slopes that impersonate cliff faces with gritty-textured walls, rocks in many shapes and sizes, and animatronic dancing mountain goats. Climbers of all skill levels can strengthen and stretch muscles on ascents up the tall rope-climbing wall, or free-climb on the shorter bouldering walls, which lose the rope and vertical ascent in favor of low routes that challenge spidery-men to master specific maneuvers and grips.

10901 South Northshore Drive
Knoxville,
TN
US

Spurred by a desire to connect with other adventurers sharing his passion for exploring wilderness territory, Reginald Mitchell began leading hiking trips throughout Georgia and the Southeast. Though he regularly helms mountain-climbing excursions on local slopes such as Kennesaw Mountain and Amicalola Falls, he's also traversed mountains in areas as disparate as Tennessee, California, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Middle Earth. Sandwiches and trail mix fuel hikers on most tours as they enjoy hiking's numerous health benefits, such as weight loss, endurance building, and stress relief.

900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive
Kennesaw,
GA
US