Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on August 2, 2016
If you think you've been reading and hearing a lot about ziplines over the past couple of years, you're not imagining things. New zipline attractions continue to pop up all over the world, because it's an activity that offers just about anyone the chance to experience the excitement of speeding through the air while suspended from a steel cable. It's fast, it's fun, and it's exhilarating. It's also an efficient way of bringing the adrenaline-charged thrill of extreme sports to the masses.
Ziplines have been around for centuries in one form or another, but they didn't gain popularity until the '70s, when wildlife biologists working in Central America started stringing cables from tree to tree to more easily move about the tropical rainforest canopy. That system allowed scientists to study the local ecosystems without destroying the flora and fauna on the rainforest floor. This led to the initial rise in canopy and zipline tours – as a means of ecotourism.
Today, of course, there has been less and less emphasis on the ecotourism aspect of ziplining and more and more about the sheer excitement of the experience. As such, the zipline industry is rapidly growing and just as quickly evolving. There's a lot of competition as zipline attractions strive to outdo or one-up each other in terms of height, distance and speed.
To give you an idea of the state of the zipline business today, we're sharing 13 fun and interesting facts that will illustrate just how much ziplining has grown and where it's headed in the future. All facts were accurate as of summer 2015.
• There are more than 400 commercial zip lines in the United States listed on Zip Line Rider. Fifteen years ago, there were only 10.
• 72 countries and six continents in the world have commercial zip lines.
• TripAdvisor lists nearly 200 zipline or canopy tours. (By the way, TripAdvisor readers rank Smoky Mountain Ziplines as the #1 outdoor attraction in Pigeon Forge.)
• There are commercial ziplines in 48 states. The only states without commercial ziplines are Mississippi and North Dakota
• North Carolina is the state with the most ziplines. The Tar Heel state has 24 commercial zip lines.
• Zip lines in Costa Rica generate approximately $120 million dollars in annual revenue.
• The longest single zipline in the world is the Volo Dell'angelo in Rocca Massima, Italy. It measures 7,260 feet long.
• The longest single zipline in the United States is the Icy Straight Point in Hoonah, Alaska. It takes 90 seconds to complete.
• Only three ziplines in the world (UK, New Zealand and South Africa) claim to reach speeds of 100 mph!
• The most people to go down a single zipline in one hour was 183 – achieved by ACE Adventure Resort in West Virginia on June 3, 2012.
• The longest combined length of a zipline canopy tour is the Screaming Eagle, located in Georgia. The course consists of 135 zip lines.
• You can travel internationally on ziplines. The Limite Zero zipline crosses the Guadiana river from Spain to Portugal.
• Children in the Hongde village in China use a zipline to cross a 460-foot deep and 260-foot wide gorge to travel to and from school.
All that being said, at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, our tour is a canopy tour, and it allows visitors to enjoy being in the hardy woodlands of the Smokies while also offering stunning views of the region's mountains. A zip line, Smoky Mountains, family fun and views… What more could someone ask out of an attraction?