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America's Best Aerial Adventure Course: Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park

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Branson park a favorite among families

While ziplines and canopy tours began as a tool for scientific field research, they’ve exploded in popularity as an attraction in their own right – a way to experience the forest canopy in a safe and thrilling environment.

  • Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park
    Branson, Mo.

    Branson’s Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park brings thrills to the Ozark Mountains in the form of a multi-level treetop ropes course, zipline canopy tour or the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider, Missouri’s highest zipline where riders reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour after a launch from 170 feet above ground.
    Photo courtesy of Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park

  • Kerfoot Canopy Tour
    Henderson, Minn.

    The Kerfoot Canopy Tour in Minnesota offers two different adventures. Thrill seekers can opt for a Zipline Canopy Tour with 14 ziplines stretching for over a mile through the Minnesota River Valley, while those looking for a challenge can conquer the 45 unique obstacles (some 50 feet above the ground) at the Adventure Park.
    Photo courtesy of Kerfoot Canopy Tour

  • Ramblewild
    Lanesborough, Mass.

    The Tree-to-Tree Adventure Park at Ramblewild encompasses more than 10 acres of pristine New England forest divided by a ravine. A central platform serves as the starting point for eight aerial obstacle courses with features like high wires, ziplines, balancing logs, cargo nets, rope ladders and suspension bridges.
    Photo courtesy of Ramblewild

  • Historic Banning Mills
    Banning, Ga.

    There’s no shortage of things to do at Historic Banning Mills, and that includes the Aerial Adventure Challenge Park with more than 200 elements placed up to 300 feet in the air, as well as six zipline canopy tours, a 100-foot free fall tower and the world’s tallest free-standing climbing wall. Historic Banning Mills is also the Guinness World Record Holder as the “Longest Continuous Eco-Canopy Tour in the World.”
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Jovanmandic

  • Camelback Mountain Adventures
    Tannersville, Penn.

    Camelback Mountain Adventures in Pennsylvania is home to the longest zipline in North America, the 4,000-foot Soaring Camel Twin Zip-Flyer. If that’s not reason enough to visit, the park also features aerial obstacle courses for kids and adults, a steel-track rollercoaster and twin 1,000-foot double barrel zip lines.
    Photo courtesy of Camelback Resort

  • The Gorge
    Saluda, N.C.

    The Gorge calls itself the nation’s steepest and fastest zipline canopy tour. This tree-based adventure in North Carolina comprises 11 ziplines spanning well over a mile with a total descent of more than 1,100 vertical feet. The course also includes a sky bridge and three rappels.
    Photo courtesy of The Gorge

  • Denali Zipline Tours
    Talkeetna, Alaska

    Located 120 road miles north of Anchorage, Denali Zipline Tours provides visitors with panoramic views of the boreal forests and mountain peaks of Denali National Park. This zipline course high above the Susitna River Valley includes nine ziplines, three suspension bridges, a spiral staircase and a rappel.
    Photo courtesy of Denali Zipline Tours

  • Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures
    Cape Canaveral, Fla.

    At Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures, 49 unique obstacles await visitors in the canopy of life oak trees. Guests can choose between seven trails and three difficulty levels to explore the park via suspension bridges, ziplines, catwalks, nets and rope bridges.
    Photo courtesy of Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures

  • ArborTrek Canopy Adventures
    Jeffersonville, Vt.

    Located in Smugglers Notch in Vermont, ArborTrek Canopy Adventures takes visitors on guided zipline tours through the canopies of Northern Vermont throughout the year (even in the snow). The Treetop Obstacle Course features more than 85 elements where visitors can climb, swing, jump, zip and balance their way from tree to tree.
    Photo courtesy of ArborTrek Canopy Adventures

  • Mega Quest & Mega Zips
    Louisville

    Louisville Mega Cavern is home to the world’s only fully underground aerial ropes course, called Mega Quest, where visitors can climb, balance, scurry and jump through the cavern. Mega Zips takes guests on a tour to otherwise off-limits parts of the cave via a series of six underground ziplines.
    Photo courtesy of Louisville Mega Cavern

The top 10 winners in the category Best Aerial Adventure Park are as follows:

  1. Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park - Branson, Mo.
  2. Kerfoot Canopy Tour - Henderson, Minn.
  3. Ramblewild - Lanesborough, Mass.
  4. Historic Banning Mills - Banning, Ga.
  5. Camelback Mountain Adventures - Tannersville, Penn.
  6. The Gorge - Saluda, N.C.
  7. Denali Zipline Tours - Talkeetna, Alaska
  8. Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures - Cape Canaveral, Fla.
  9. ArborTrek Canopy Adventures - Jeffersonville, Vt.
  10. Mega Quest & Mega Zips - Louisville

A panel of experts (listed below) partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning parks!

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AlertThe Experts

Sherry Boswell

Sherry Boswell

Sherry Boswell

Eileen Ogintz

Eileen Ogintz

Eileen Ogintz

Nicky Omohundro

Nicky Omohundro

Nicky Omohundro

Allison Taylor

Allison Taylor

Allison Taylor

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