North Georgia Canopy Tours is well into its second year as a leading zip lining destination in North Georgia. They’ve added quite a bit since I first visited them during the grand opening of the zip line in April of 2010.
For my second outing, we tackled the longer and more intense Adventure Tour. If you’ve been zip lining before, this is the tour to take, it offers three additional zips that are some of the fastest on the course, as well as a rappel. If you haven’t zipped, or are afraid of heights (interestingly a number of folks use this experience to get over their fear), you’ll want to do the shorter and lower sky bridge course. Here’s my account of my first adventure at North Georgia Canopy Tours and a great guide for the first timer. Note that children must be at least 10 years old and 70 pounds to zip line.
As a veteran zipper, I sailed through the ‘low and slow’ ground school and was ready to get moving. The Adventure Course took the familiar path of the sky bridge course I had done previously. This time however, the trees were lush with leaves and the view a bit greener. The day we went, it was drizzling, which frankly made it more pleasurable as the rain kept the summer heat (and crowds) at bay. Halfway through the course, we veered off to the longer adventure course and the best zips. The Adventure Course crosses two sky bridges, contains three short uphill hikes and a rappel off the last platform. It’s not overly strenuous, and there are several water stations that allow guests to take a break if needed. Tour guides act as nature guides during the brief hikes, inserting a bit of Disney Jungle Cruise humor to lighten things up.
The taunt zip cables that made me feel more secure the first time I zipped, allowed me to jump off the platforms this time to gain a bit of speed (or so I thought). The lines at North Georgia Canopy Tours allow for a decent amount of speed without taking your head off when you land. If you’ve ever zipped on a course with the spring break system, you know what I’m talking about. The breaking system at North Georgia Canopy Tours is easy, soft and allows you to glide onto the platform.
My favorite zips were the longer ones that give you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding North Oconee River, the ponds and forest. I found myself wanting to go slower so I could take in more of my surroundings. After an initial rush of panic, I actually enjoyed the challenge of rappelling off the last platform too. All zip lining courses end in a dual zip where you can race a partner. A short hike to the last platform allows ample time to do a little trash talking before the competition. Beware, if the fountain is on in the pond, you’ll want the zip line on the left unless you want to get wet – the right zip line goes right through the fountain.
If zip lining isn’t your thing, North Georgia Canopy Tours has added other adventures including:
Teepee Camping: The folks here affectionately call this Glamping. I can see why, the family sized Dream Catcher teepee is quite nice with a queen bed and a twin-over-full bed. The 18′ Deer Teepee is made for couples with one queen sized bed. These two teepees come with linens. For groups, rent the 26′ Hickory teepee which sleeps up to 10 on twin and bunk beds. The lack of electronics is refreshing, as is the availability of air conditioning and lamps.
Geocaching: Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game that has become quite a popular adventure, and North Georgia Canopy Tours™ is an approved Four Stage Geocache by Groundspeak. No geocaching experience necessary, just a GPS device. Participants locate hidden containers (caches), then share their experiences online at www.geocaching.com. Players bring a token or souvenir to replace the one found in the grand finale cache. North Georgia Canopy Tours™ provides the first clue to non-geocache members. Allow two hours to locate the four caches and decipher the clues.
Disc Golf: According to those in the know, this is one of the nicest disc golf courses in Georgia. Shoot across the North Oconee River, through a chicken house and through the forest and pastures of North Georgia.
Nature Challenge: For those that would prefer a leisurely walk in the woods to adventure, North Georgia Canopy Tours offers a Nature Challenge. Guests are given clues to find various natural elements within the property.
What: North Georgia Canopy Tours, Zip Lining, Geocaching, Disc Golf, Tepee Camping
Where: 5290 Harris Road, Lula, Ga. 30554
When: Each season has its own rewards
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