Located about 30 minutes north of Asheville in the tiny town of Barnardsville, Navitat Canopy Adventures has long been known for its 3.5-hour guided escapade high above the Southern Appalachian forest. The original 80-acre aerial trail features two sky bridges and 10 ziplines, including one that sends you 200 feet above the forest floor.
This spring, the adventure outfitters launched the new Blue Ridge Experience, an amazing ridge-to-ridge zipline tour featuring the longest and some of the highest ziplines in the Southeast.
The new racing-style zipline at Navitat Canopy Adventures — Photo courtesy of Navitat Canopy Adventures
The new tour takes the thrill of ziplining to a whole new level, with three sets of racing-style ziplines that have been creatively engineered to tap into our innate sense of adventure and competitiveness.
Two by two, you’ll be seated securely in harnesses and taken to the end of a platform. Once you’ve secured yourselves with your feet against a gate, the guide will hit the release and you and your challenger will soar more than 350 feet off the ground across the canopy at speeds of up to 60 mph.
Besides bragging rights for winning, you’ll get sweeping views of the landscape, thanks to zips that range from 1,100 feet in length to nearly three-quarters of a mile long. There are not many other places you’ll get the same 360-degree views and long-range vistas nearly 20 miles to the west and north into Tennessee.
Both the Blue Ridge Experience and the Moody Cove Adventure tour (the original jaunt) have the extra perk of including a handful of scenic hikes, where guides are happy to point out local fauna, share their knowledge of the area’s ecological efforts and maybe even recommend a good local beer or two.
You’ll likely depart ready for a hearty meal, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the roadside barbecue truck parked a few miles away on the road back to Asheville. Cooks here are serving up pulled pork and brisket sandwiches on melt-in-your-mouth rolls. Get the coleslaw on top and order your sandwich alongside a Cheerwine, and you’ll blend in like a local.
Tours accommodate up to eight guests accompanied by two guides. Cost for the Blue Ridge Experience is $69 per person Sunday through Friday and $79 on Saturdays and holidays. Cost for the Moody Cove Adventure is $89 Sunday through Friday and $99 on Saturdays and holidays. The Ultimate, a package that includes both tours, is also available. Cost is $135 per person Sunday through Friday and $155 on Saturdays.