A zip line is a series of pulleys and cables mounted on an incline, allowing you to travel from the top the bottom, often very high up into the air. It is one of the most thrilling ways to safely approximate the experience of flying. It is both deeply excitement, and, with properly trained operators, can be safe and easy for anyone to use. Thus, it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of possibilities when it comes to zip lines, they exist all over the world, and many try to outdo each other promising more adventure or beauty. Here are five of the most noteworthy zip lines, to whet your appetite and see the numerous exciting possibilities.
1) The Fastest –Zip 2000 Line, Sun City, South Africa
The most noticeable thing about this zip line is the extreme speeds you can get up to. You are placed in a unique “superman” harness you lie horizontally, feeling the wind as you go 2 kilometers reaching speeds of up to 100 miles an hour. Speed builds up so rapidly as 2 meter ground suddenly gives way to almost 100 meters, creating a very action packed minute of flying. It has operated since 2004 from a resort 2 miles outside of Johannesburg.
2) The longest run – Icy Strait Point Zip Rider in Hoonah, Alaska
At almost 6,000 feet long, this zip rider is the longest in the world, with six separate cables each a mile long. The adventure begins with a 6-mile drive up a mountain, showing spectacular views even before you harness up and drop down. You then accelerate down a steep 1,300 foot vertical drop, as you see the Icy Strait Beach get larger. The Icy Straight Zip Rider has operated on Chichagof Island since 2007.
3) The Spookiest – Screaming Eagle Tours, Banning, Georgia
This is a large complex of six different lines spread out over 10 miles throughout the Banning Mills Park in North Georgia. There are multiple zip lines at five different grades of intensity. Level one is appropriate for any children above age 8, and level five will hurl you down a series of tunnels, shooting you out 20 stories high in the air. The massive adrenaline rush is compounded by the park’s setting of a ghost town, of buildings abandoned since the 19th century that will take you back in time, more exciting then any haunted house.
4) The Most Likely to Freak Out a Bird – The Canopy at Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
This zip line is in a thrilling setting of a protected rainforest, 10,500 hectares of deeply rich nature, sheltering a breathtaking diversity of wildlife within a thick forest canopy. This sky trek offers breathtaking views of the rainforest’s canopy, allowing you to view the forest from a wide variety of vantage points. You can take 9 cable systems, the longest of which is 2,525 feet. There are several observational points, where you can stop to enjoy the view.
5) The Wettest – Dragon’s Breath Zip Line, Labadee, Haiti
At 2,600 feet, Dragon’s Breath is the word’s longest zip-line over water, this starts out at Labadee Beach, and puts you up 500 feet in the air above crashing waves. You reach up to 60 miles an hour, going down to a secret beach cove, watching waves hit the shore. Dragon’s Breath is a rocky cove, named for the sound of the ocean hitting the rocks, and this zip line is the best way to get thrilling views of these beautiful beaches, with 55 seconds of feeling the wind as you glide to the water.