Entertainment

Zip Across Town

Ziplining is an activity that can be enjoyed in almost any weather, including the fall season with a rare view of beautiful fall foliage. PHOTO COURTESY OF ZIPSTREAM FALL CREEK FALLS

Ziplining is an activity that can be enjoyed in almost any weather, including the fall season with a rare view of beautiful fall foliage.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ZIPSTREAM FALL CREEK FALLS

Ziplining in Nashville has gained popularity because it is enjoyable, thrilling and almost anyone can do it. Getting to enjoy breath-taking scenery from above the normal view while embarking on a fun adventure is what makes ziplining different from other sports and activities. The initial take off can be scary. Leaving a safe and secure platform and jumping out into the open air is not exactly a rational choice. The feeling is exuberating once the decision is made to let the rope be your lifeline, though. Due to its unique ability to amuse, ziplining is trending in Nashville.

There are multiple locations in Nashville to zipline, including Treetop Adventure Park and Music City Ziplines by Adventureworks at Fontanel. Other venues can be found across middle Tennessee, including ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls, a new venture located at Fall Creek Falls, one of our area’s most popular state parks. A novel partnership with state government, this ziplining locale is a joint venture between the state of Tennessee and private zipline operators. Tennessee is realizing that ziplining is a popular activity that brings in many more customers and active enthusiasts than before. You really can’t go wrong with all the many ziplining options available!

Suit up for some fun as you zipline through the trees! COURTESY OF THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

Suit up for some fun as you zipline through the trees!
COURTESY OF THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

Nashville is trending due to its substantial sports offerings. The city has a great sports and amusement factor which is appealing. “There are so many things Nashville has going for it,” says Brian Davis, managing partner at Music City Ziplines. “There is money being made, which means more money to spend on fun things. Nashville is a city that appreciates its outdoor recreation. Mayor Dean has pushed an outdoor, healthy lifestyle.” One of the unique things going for the city is ziplining.

Founded four years ago, Music City Ziplines at Fontanel was the only zipline in Nashville at the time. There was money to be had, and Music City Ziplines capitalized on it. “Four years ago, we really saw things take off,” Davis recalls. “We have four locations. Our Nashville location recently opened a year ago. Kingston Springs, our most popular location, sees about 10,000 zipliners a year.” Since their start four years ago, Music City Ziplines has not seen a dip in attendance. “Our busiest seasons are the summer, June and July, and September and October when the weather starts to change. People come in the winter, too, when there is snow on the ground, which is a fun experience.” To offer their customers these unique experiences throughout the seasons, Music City Ziplines is open year round.

Treetop Adventure Park is located in the breathtaking trees of Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort. Treetop is not your average ziplining course. They refer to themselves as an “aerial adventure course.” Obstacles such as swinging bridges, nets, jumps, tight ropes and other challenging hurdles stand between each zipline. The whole course is suspended above the ground. This is a great way for overcoming one’s fear of heights or for action seekers to get thrills. If you visit, you’ll agree: It’s like a jungle gym for people of all ages.

Safety First

Ziplining is a safe and thrilling activity! PHOTO COURTESY OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

Ziplining is a safe and thrilling activity!
PHOTO COURTESY OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

At Music City Ziplines, you walk and climb to each of the eight destinations. Helmets are given out for extra precaution. Upon arriving at the first zipline, your group zips one at a time across the ravine. One guide stays at the beginning to assist with takeoff, while the other guide waits at the finish. Zipliners have to stop themselves on a platform over the ground. The delightful guide at the end is able to assist with stopping just in case. Davis states, “There has never been an equipment malfunction. We have a great safety record. Occasionally, people do step wrong on the hiking trails or land wrong at the end of the zipline. Everyone is personally responsible, but we help mitigate risk as much as we can.”

With a children’s course, junior course and adult course, Treetop Adventure Park is accommodating for any age. No previous experience is necessary; therefore, the first thing Treetop has their adventurers do before entering their desired course is to complete a training course. This course involves a guide that gives them the low-down on how to manage equipment and ensure safety while balancing up high.

Everyone is given a harness that includes a zipline clip and two safety clips. The safety clips are color coded red, which reminds adventurers to always have at least one clipped to the red line while progressing throughout the course. The red safety clips are there in case one were to fall.

Upon completion of this training, adventurers are sent out on their own into the course. Once you get up into the course, you are on your own. There are guides below to assist if needed, but you must be able to work your own equipment and follow the safety rules. The guides monitor from the ground to make sure that everyone is following the rules. If anyone breaks the safety rules more than twice, they are asked to come down and are done for the day.

Four levels of difficulty distinguish the adult course at Treetop: green, blue, red and black. Adventurers must start at the green level, which is the lowest elevation and requires the least skill. Eventually, adventurers work up to the black level, which is the most advanced level offered. A degree of balance is required to successfully complete the course. Though if you fall off you won’t fall far, as your harness will catch you. “These things could hold a car,” said a Treetop guide as he explained the safety features of the equipment.

Fun for Everyone

A little girl zips through the trees. Ziplining is fun for all ages! PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN FEATHER

A little girl zips through the trees. Ziplining is fun for all ages!
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN FEATHER

Ziplining is a family-friendly excursion. Anyone can do it. “The oldest person I have witnessed come to zipline was a ninety year old man. We don’t have a minimum age that we allow. We only have a maturity requirement,” Davis explains. “The majority of our clientele are moms, dads, kids and teenagers looking for a fun thing to do together. Ziplining is unique because it’s not like the bar scene which targets adults, or the Adventure Science Center which is fun for young kids. Ziplining is fun for the whole family to hang out and make memories.” Ziplining through the woods is definitely a family fun escapade. A guide at Music City Ziplines said that his favorite part about his job was getting to meet people from all over. He recalled meeting people from Chicago, New York, Massachusetts, and other faraway states in the country.

Now Trending

The trend is so undeniable that people want easy access to ziplining. Davis remarks that the sensation is “less adrenaline, more adventure based.” Because of this, many are building ziplines on their own property. “The good thing about people putting up their own ziplines is that it gets people talking about it and gets the word out. However, there are not a lot of vendors that build privatized ziplines because of liability.” Those desiring to put in their own zipline are encouraged to use caution and be well educated. “As long as the public is well-educated, doing so with an established company is safe,” states Davis.

Ziplining is an activity sought out by those who desire an active adventure. Music City Ziplines and Treetop Adventure Park know that Nashville is the perfect location for success. Music City Ziplines even has plans for expansion. Davis mentioned that there are proposals for an aerial trekking park, which would expand their realm of ziplining. Davis is confident that we “will really see ziplining take off in the next two years.”