#AdventureSeries: Your guide to ziplining in WNC

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Coming in fast on zip #2. | Photo by AVLtoday

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This is part of our #AdventureSeries – Where we guide you through WNC’s magical world of outdoor activities. We’ve covered hiking, rock climbing, golfing, floating + adventure road trips with more to come. But we headed above all that for this one. We’re talking ziplining.

The AVLtoday crew visited Navitat back in July (can you say team bonding?). We ventured off to Barnardsville for our 2.5 hour day of fun. Featured in New York Times as of the “must dos” while in Asheville, and as the no.1 pick for Ziplining in the U.S. by Outside, we had to try it for ourselves.

First off, Navitat serves 20,000 to 25,000 people every year15% of those visitors are locals (Pro-tip: Get a 15% discount as a local Sun. – Thurs.). They offer two specific zipline tours – one with 6 tree-to-tree lines, and one with 3 lines 350 ft. above the trees which is one of the fastest in the nation – plus a combination package, and an RTV Excrusion as an alternative for those who don’t want to or can’t zipline.

See what happened once we signed a waiver, geared up, and took a very steep van ride to the top. (Spoiler: So many Blue Ridge views). Plus, four other WNC tours to try if you’re the ultimate adrenaline fiend.

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Our tour group after gearing up. | Photo by AVLtoday

🗓 Booking

Navitat fills up fast during their peak season (May 15 - Aug. 15 and Oct. - Nov. 15) so try to book your adventure about two weeks in advance. Larger groups you will want to try and book even further in advance. Changes and cancellations are to be made 72 hours before your scheduled tour. To make your reservation you can use Navitat’s online booking system or call (855) 628-4828 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Bonus: Discounts are available.

Blue Ridge Experience

$99.95 per person | 2-2.5 hour adventure | Max of 9 people per tour

Fully automated side-by-side ziplines with hands-free braking. You will experience three huge ziplines that feature long distance, fast speeds, and expansive mountain views.

Moody Cove Adventure

$99.95 per person | 2-2.5 hour adventure | Max of 8 people per tour

Ziplines are at most 1250 feet long and 200 feet high which includes hands-free braking.

On the tour you will cross bridges, scale a spiral tree staircase, and rappel to the forest floor.

Shadow Tour

$44.95 per person | 1.5 hour adventure | Max of 4 people per tour

For those who aren’t quite ready to zip their way across the treetops, this fully guided excursion is in a state-of-the-art Kubota rugged-terrain vehicle with a tour guide who will drive you to mountain lookouts, stop by the ziplines, and share all the interesting natural + cultural history about Navitat and how it got to where it is today.

Ultimate Adventure

$169.95 per person | All day adventure | Max of 8-9 people

The Ultimate Adventure combines both the Moody Cove and Blue Ridge Experience tours for an action-packed day of fun. You will begin your tour at Moody Cove, break for lunch, then will finish the afternoon on the Blue Ridge Experience.

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At the lookout. Learning what mountains are in the view. | Photo by AVLtoday


Navitat is about 25 minutes from downtown Asheville. All guests should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to their scheduled tour time to allow for check in. No refunds are issued for late arrivals. Dress as if you are headed to go on a hike – closed toe shoes and pants or long shorts. Navitat still operates rain or shine (apparently ziplining in the rain is incredibly fun) so make sure to bring a rain jacket or change of clothes for after the tour. Pro-tip: You can bring a camera or GoPro as long as it has a strap and can be secured to your gear. Navitat also offers GoPros to rent and photos to purchase after the tour.

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Coming in fast on zip #2. | Photo by AVLtoday

Our Experience on the Zip

The RTV Excursion was incredibly fun and got us pumped for the real tour (It stormed the original date we planned to complete the Blue Ridge Experience so our guide took us on the RTV Excursion to get a first-hand view before our makeup date). On the tour we put on helmets and buckled ourselves into the RTV while our guide drove us to each zipline station. There we were able to see up close the setup, the line, and the grounding structure of each zip.

When our makeup day (*finally*) arrived, all three of us were full of excitement (and I’ll be honest, I was slightly nervous because heights aren’t exactly my thing). The Blue Ridge Experience tour is top five in the nation and has the fastest zip in the nation – equivalent to being in a glider plane. At the tallest point you are 350 feet up in the air with 70-100 miles of mountain views (you can actually see part of Tennessee). This tour will make you feel more connected to nature than any other zipline due to the environmental upkeep and the way the trails have been built to keep the authentic vibe.

There are three ziplines on the Blue Ridge. Each zip is side-by-side so two people can go down together. The first zip is pretty simple and takes a little less than 45 seconds to get across, and it totally gets your palms sweating, heart racing, and adrenaline begging for more. From the first zip landing to the second, you will have to trek a short hike (nothing strenuous), and the tour guide will go slow and teach you about natural vegetation along the way. The second zip is the longest zip (3,600 feet or ¾ miles long) and towards the end you will begin to feel this sense that you won’t make it to the end (trust us, you will) and that feeling is called parallax effect. The third zip is the one that leaves you breathless with incredibly jaw-dropping speeds. The max speed on the tour is 65 mph (your eyes may water just a bit). ‘

After the third and final zip our group (we had seven people but the max is nine) trekked a small hike down to the check in area to take off our gear and to wrap up the experience. Our tour guide was excellent and was full of Appalachian plant knowledge (survival skills, ay?). Each one of the zipline assistants were on top of their game by making sure that safety, and fun, was the number one priority.

Ziplining isn’t for everyone, so if you are still questioning the safety and precautions keep in mind:

  • The zips are jacketed to dual cables which distributes weight between two trollies so it feels safer.
  • There are automatic brakes. You will jolt a little, but not enough to hurt.
  • The cables are 70,000 pounds and could zip a van (if you could strap a van into harness).
  • There is a small hike from the first zip to the second zip, but the incline is not too strenuous and the tour guides take breaks.
  • All the tour guides are well trained and very prepared (they spend weeks training each season).

And, if you have already completed the Navitat adventures, here are a few other ziplining places in the Asheville area to check out:

🧗‍Adventure Center of Asheville | 85 Expo Dr., Asheville | (877) 247-5539

🧗‍Nantahala Outdoor Center | 13077 Hwy. 19 West, Bryson City | (828) 785-5655

🧗‍French Broad Adventures | 9800 U.S. Hwy. 25/70, Marshall | (828) 649-0486

🧗‍Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours | 10320 US 19 W., Bryson City | (866) 319-8870

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The AVLtoday staff. | Photo by AVLtoday

I absolutely loved ziplining. My visit to Navitat was my first ziplining experience and now I am excited to try more places in the area. And to try the Moody Cove tour at Navitat.

To my surprise, ziplining isn’t hard – you literally sit back and enjoy the ride. This adventure would make for a perfect family bonding adventure or even a great first date (for all of you riding solo out there).

Bonus: Make sure you visit our Instagram and Facebook today to see all the live coverage of our Navitat experience (you may see me scream in both fear and excitement).

Happy Hump Day!!


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