Ziplines were originally invented for just two functions: sneaking hamburgers over the Berlin Wall and zazzing up presidential entrances to State of the Union addresses. Put gravity in its place with today's Groupon to Wildwater Zipline Canopy Tours, valid for one of four canopy tours: over the Ocoee River Basin in Ducktown, Tennessee, the Chattooga Ridge in Long Creek, South Carolina, the Pigeon River in Hartford, Tennessee, Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, NC or the Nantahala Gorge in Bryson City, North Carolina. Choose between the following options:
- For $39, you get a zipline adventure for one (up to a $79 value).
- For $150, you get a zipline adventure for four (up to a $316 value).
Each adrenaline-charged canopy tour takes patrons gliding above lush woodland expanses of the American southeast suspended from a secure network of treetop cables. Before all tours, Association for Challenge Course Technology–certified canopy rangers prepare patrons for their trip across Mother Nature's clothesline by outfitting them with a helmet, a full-body harness, gloves, a zipline trolley, and a delicate spritz of hummingbird repellent. Patrons receive a pre-tour instructional briefing, and two professional guides accompany each group for added safety. Once duly prepared, adventurers stoke their inner Tarzans while traversing the 14 wooded acres of the Ocoee River Basin, or one-up braggadocio flying squirrels by sliding nonstop for 1,200 feet across the Pigeon River. The Chattooga Ridge tour affords tethered aviators views of various ecosystems and wildlife, and the Nantahala Gorge tour elevates patrons above hemlocks and a forest floor teeming with colorful rhododendrons, flame azaleas, and envious deer.
For all tours, patrons must wear closed-toed shoes and are advised to dress in comfortable but modest clothes, with respect for the fact that all accouterments will be contained in a snug full-body harness for the duration of the tour. Aerial excursions last 3–3.5 hours, affording participants plenty of time to recite Leo's best lines from Titanic.
Jim and Jeanette Greiner have been helping people escape the concrete ecosystems of everyday life since 1971. That's the year that they founded Wildwater, and as its name suggests, it started as a rafting outfitter that led groups down the rushing waters of the Chattooga River. Today, Wildwater's trained guides still navigate a number of rivers—the Ocoee, Nantahala, and Pigeon, in addition to the Chattooga River—but they've expanded their reach to the land as well. The company offers canopy tours with a combination of ziplines and elevated bridges, inviting guests to take a thrilling trip through the treetops. If clients prefer to stay within a few feet of the ground, they can opt for jeep tours that explore paths beyond the main roads.
Since Wildwater's team values the beauty of the natural environment, they embrace eco-friendly practices intended to help protect the areas they explore. Each of the company's locations strives to minimize its impact by using solar-powered water heaters for the showers, composting leftover food, and painting all of the outdoor equipment with chlorophyll.