What: Banning Mills Zip Line
Where: 205 Horseshoe Dam Rd., Whitesburg, GA 770-834-9149
When: Daily. Different course have specific times so check the website
Cost: Prices start at $49 per person (reservations are required)
Photos: For more photos of Historic Banning Mills, visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook
About and hour outside of Atlanta, past the world’s largest mailbox on Ga. 5, is Historic Banning Mills zip lines. This eco-canopy adventure has course names and thrills that make the rollercoasters at the Six Flags theme park you pass on I-20 look like kiddie rides. So let the adventure begin.
There are several canopy zip line tours near Atlanta, but Banning Mills zip lines are the oldest, and the highest. According to their literature they are also the fastest in the world. Although they do have an introductory course, this facility is better appreciated by the fit, thrill seeker than the novice. Children must be at least 8 years old and 50 pounds to do the Forest Tour and 90 pounds for all other tours. There is a maximum weight limit of 250 for women and 285 for men. Participants must also be able to climb two 65 ft towers and possibly a 150 ft tower. Did I mention these tours aren’t for the faint of heart?
If you’re still reading, then I’m guessing you’ll love the thrills at Banning Mills. I know I did. After a brief ground school, we set off across a skybridge to our first tower. All zip lines at Banning Mills start and end at the Conference Center. A nice touch when you’ve been climbing, swinging and exerting yourself all day.
Beginner Courses at Banning Mills Zip Line Georgia
The Forest Tour and new Woodland Tour are level 1 courses and made for first time zippers and families. The weight limit is 50 lbs and minimum age is 8 years old. This is a great way to get used to the height and zipping. A few of the later zips require breaking, and guides are always available to help. Even this tour requires lots of stair climbing and a basic level of fitness is needed to enjoy the adventure. For veteran zippers, this is a tame course, the real fun comes at the higher levels. If your family has master this course and doesn’t want to quit, you can upgrade on the spot to the next level.
Advanced Courses at Banning Mills Zip Line Georgia
As you move up the levels, the length of the zips and the height increases. What I like best is the addition of sky bridge obstacles that require more exertion than just riding down a screaming zip line. Each level includes the previous tours, so Level 3 includes the elements of Level 1 and 2. Children must be at least 10 years old and 90 lbs to attempt courses two and up. If older children want to move on, there are other activities for younger kids including a Birds of Prey Show, hiking, and horseback riding. (Note: Plan ahead for these activities. The Birds of Prey show is usually in the morning and horseback riding must be reserved.)
The Level four tour is the most exciting and includes all the previous courses (excluding the 900Ft Swoop line along the Snake Creek). The Sky Trek Bridge is one of my favorite elements. It’s 600 feet long, and 190 feet high over the gorge, with fantastic views of the river below. This tour also includes climbing the equivalent of a 30-story building then stepping off to zip down the Screaming Eagle for half a mile. For true adrenaline junkies, Banning Mills offers the All Day Rush, allowing guests to climb and zip for 8 hours straight. Lunch is included as is the Aerial Adventure Challenge Park.
Aerial Adventure Challenge Park at Banning Mills (A Zip Add On)
The Aerial Adventure Challenge is a zip into a series of extreme challenge elements 80 ft in the air. This park can be added for $29 to the level two and up courses. I truly enjoyed the addition of the rope challenges to break up the zip experiences. The elements weren’t always easy, in one there is a tree running right through the middle of the path, but it lots of fun to push yourself in different ways.
Field Trips with Sue was invited on a press trip to review Historic Banning Mills. The views expressed here are my own.