Jul 12, 2022 - Things to Do

14 places to zip line within 3 hours of Charlotte

Photo courtesy of Canopy Ridge Farm

North Carolina is full of adventure, plenty of which can be found soaring through the trees on a zip line.

In the 1970s, biologist Donald Perry used zip lines to study Costa Rica’s rainforest. Now, you can use them for more recreational fun close to home.

My thought bubble: It took the guides 10 minutes to coax me off the first platform the first time I went zip lining. I couldn’t tell you what made me finally get out of my own way. But over the next two hours, I left my fear on the platform and went for it. Who knew zip lining would be such a life lesson.

Pro tip: Always wear closed toe shoes and a shirt covering your stomach.

Editor’s note: Places are listed based on their proximity to Charlotte, and they are all in North Carolina. 

1. U.S. National Whitewater Center 

Details: You don’t have to leave Charlotte to zip line. The Whitewater Center offers five options open year round.

  • Figure 8 takes you into the woods and over the water. You must weigh at least 70 pounds and no more than 265 pounds to participate.
  • Double Down sends you straight over the water, twice. The weight requirements are also 70-265 pounds.
  • Canyon Crossing includes high ropes challenges and one zip line.
  • Canyon Zip sends you along two 200-foot-long zip lines beneath the trees.
  • Pine Zip combines a zip line and a jump. Once you step off the platform, an auto-belay system brings you on a controlled descent to the ground.
  • Of note: Weight requirements for Canyon Crossing, Canyon Zip and Pine Zip are 45-265 pounds.

Rates: All five lines are included in a day pass ($65 for kids and $75 for adults) or annual pass ($200 for kids and $250 for adults).

  • Of note: Figure 8 and Double Down require reservations and an additional $10 fee each.
U.S. National Whitewater Center Double Down zip line. Photo courtesy of the Whitewater Center

2. Kersey Valley Zip Line 

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 11 minutes; 83 miles

Tours: This aviation-themed spot features 14 zip lines. Each sky deck represents a different city flight code like ATL and LAX. A coach tour takes you on 10 zip lines.

Duration: Approximately two hours.

Rates: The first class zip line is $79, coach is $69 and birthday party packages for up to eight kids are $249

3. Beanstalk Zip Lines at Catawba Meadows

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 19 minutes; 76 miles

Details: The course starts with a cargo net, followed by other obstacles. There are a total of three sky bridges and five zip lines.

Duration: Up to two hours.

Of note: Children as young as 4 years old can participate.

Rates: $59

4. Richland Creek Zipline Canopy Tour

Photo courtesy of Richland Zipline

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 24 minutes; 93 miles

Details: The tour includes a stop at Mendenhall Falls along Richland Creek. You’ll experience 14 zip lines as you soar through Randolph County. Reservations are required.

Duration: An hour and a half.

Rates: $40. Groups of eight receive a $10 discount ($30 each). They do not accept cards. It’s cash or check only.

5. Canopy Ridge Farm

Photo courtesy of Canopy Ridge Farm

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 34 minutes; 84 miles

Details: It’s a six-zip line tour designed for people weighing up to 260 pounds and for those as young as two years old (the latter depends on whether or not they fit into the safety equipment).

Duration: Approximately an hour and a half.

Rates: $75. They also offer Go Pro rentals for an additional $25 at check-in.

6. The Gorge Zipline Canopy Tour

Photo courtesy of The Gorge

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 34 minutes; 90 miles

Details: Deep in the Green River Gorge are 11 zip lines. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll appreciate what co-owner Tim Bell calls “The Star Wars Zip,” which reminds him of scenery from “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of The Jedi.” The course also includes a suspension bridge and other obstacles.

Of note: You must weigh between 70 and 250 pounds, and their suggested minimum age is 10 years old. Also, if you’re expecting, they won’t allow you on the tour as a safety precaution.

Rates: $129. Groups of at least eight people receive a $10 discount per person brining the individual price to $119.

7. High Gravity Adventures

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 47 minutes; 95 miles

Details: The course includes five zip lines, one freewill and is designed for people age seven and up. You can also add onto your adventure with a massive three-person swing or you can go climbing.

Of note: You must zip with an adult if you’re 7-10 years old. The weight requirement is 75-265 pounds. 

Duration: 2 hours

Rates:  $79 for the zip line tour; $19 for the swing; climbing starts at $39

8. Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tour

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 47 minutes; 110 miles

Details: Whether you’re three years old or 103, you can soar around North Carolina’s original canopy zip line tour. They offer 11 zip lines, plus night tours. Located on a family farm, the site is situated between Hanging Rock State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park, if you’re in the mood to keep the outdoor theme going.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tour

Of note: Reservations are required, and the weight limit is 275 pounds.

Duration: Tours last from an hour and a half to two and a half hours, depending on the size of your group.

Rates: Daytime tours are $80 for ages 13 and up and $40 for those under age 12. Twilight zip line tours are $90 for adults and $50 for kids. You can also add on a bonfire and snacks with hot cider for an extra $10 per person.

My thought bubble: This is a great day trip from Charlotte. Right before the pandemic, my partner and I went zip lining here, and we followed it up with a hike at Pilot Mountain later that afternoon.

9. Sky Valley Zip Tours

Distance from Charlotte: 1 hour and 53 minutes; 97 miles

Tours: The canopy zip tour includes 10 zip lines, a cliff jump and a swinging bridge.

  • Kid’s zip tours includes seven zip lines, a bridge and a 20-foot slide. Children must be at least 4 years old and 4 feet tall.
  • Night zip tours includes five zip lines and a cliff jump, and it’s only available on certain weekends.

Duration: An hour and a half to two hours

Rates: Daytime tours are$95 for anyone over age 18 and $85 for those those ages 10-17. Kid zip tours are $55. Night zip tours are $75.

10. Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures

Distance from Charlotte: 2 hours and 3 minutes; 130 miles

Tours: The Full Canopy Tour features 11 zip lines over 2-3 hours.

  • The Express Canopy Tour lasts 1-2 hours, and includes 7 zip lines and a sky bridge.
  • They also offer private tours for up to seven people.

Of note: You must be at least eight years old and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds.

Rates: $69 for an express tour; $89 for a full tour; $549 for a private express tour; $699 for a private full tour.

11. Hawksnest Zipline 

Distance from Charlotte: 2 hours and 11 minutes; 111 miles

Details: You may know Hawksnest as a tubbing destination during the winter, but it also offer zip lining.

Tours: A tour includes nine zip lines.

  • Eagle tour: You’ll travel nearly three miles across nine zip lines.
  • Hawk tour: You’ll soar over a mile and a half across 11 zip lines.

Duration: Both tours take approximately an hour and a half to two hours

Of note: You must be at least eight years old. You must weigh between 80 and 220 pounds. Reservations required.

Rates: $70 hawk tour; $80 eagle tour

12. Navitat Canopy Adventures 

Distance from Charlotte: 2 hours and 23 minutes; 142 miles

Details: Do you remember when everyone was buzzing about “The Hunger Games” filming in North Carolina, well the odds were ever in Navitat Canopy Adventures’ favor, because the cast stopped by during filming in 2011.

Tours: Try the treetop tour for six zip lines over two and a half to three hours.

  • Mountaintop tour includes three zip lines over at least two and a half hours.
  • Treetop express includes three zip lines over an hour and a half.
  • Navitat at night takes you across three zip lines over two and a half to three hours.

Of note: You must weigh between 70 and 250 pounds and be at least five years old.

Rates: It’s $99.95 for the treetop tour, $109.95 for the Mountaintop tour, treetop express is $69.95 and it’s $129.95 for Navitat at night.

13. Go Ape

Distance from Charlotte: 2 hours and 23 minutes; 159 miles

Tours: The treetop adventure takes between two and three hours and includes five zip lines and 41 obstacles. You must be at least 10 years old for treetop adventure.

Photo courtesy of Go Ape
  • Treetop discovery has three zip lines and 19 challenges. You must be at least 10 years old.
  • Treetop journey includes two zip lines and 18 obstacles. There is no minimum age for this one.

Of note: Maximum weight is 285 pounds for all three options.

Rates: Treetop adventure costs $49.95 for ages 16 and up and $39.95 for kids. Treetop discover $34.95 for everyone. Treetop journey is $32.95 for all ages.

14. ZipQuest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure

Distance from Charlotte: 2 hours and 46 minutes; 183 miles

Tours: Waterfall Expedition takes you through eight zip lines and three spiral staircases over two and a half hours. Plus you get a view of Carver’s Falls on your adventure.

  • Treetop excursion is a shorter course with five zip lines, a suspension bridge and two spiral staircases over an hour and a half.

Rates: Waterfall expedition is $89. Treetop excursion is $59.

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