Zipping Around the Bridge
Bridge Day offers folks the possibility of riding on the High Line, a 600 foot harnessed trip on a rope from the Bridge to the side of the Gorge. This experience is very similar to a zip line. The only difference is that the High Line uses a belayed rope to help control participants’ speed. Zip lines are becoming increasingly popular in West Virginia and beyond. Luckily for us, there are four Gorge-area zip lines, and another line is being constructed on the Bechtel Summit Boy Scout property.
Let’s take a look at area zip lines so you can choose one to visit when you’re here for Bridge Day.
What is a Zip Line
A zip line is a set of ropes or cables strung between two objects. These ropes or cables contain enough vertical drop from start to finish to allow a pulley to move swiftly on the lines.
Zip line riders, (aka ‘zippers’), wear a harness that is connected to a pulley and lanyard system. The pulley is attached to the tensioned line, and the vertical difference from the starting point to the ending point supplies the momentum to move you along the line. You hang suspended from the line over the length of the zip. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
The length and speed of zip lines vary depending on how they were designed. There are two distinct differences in lines here in the Gorge. Let’s take a look.
The Gorge Zip Lines
TreeTops Canopy Tour is located at Adventures On The Gorge. It has 10 zips, varying in distance from 100 feet to 730 feet. It also contains 5 cable bridges, 3 short hikes and a rappel. It takes about 4 hours to complete, so plan your day accordingly.
The Zip Line Canopy Tour is at ACE Adventure Resort. It is also a network of zips that keep participants in the air for over a mile. It also offers side-by-side zip racing, and has one long zip that is well over 800 feet. A 250 foot skybridge and dual 45 foot plunge lines round out this tour.
Gravity is also an Adventures On The Gorge activity, and is zip lining at its fastest (and most adventurous). These zips are designed with speed in mind and go from ridge top to ridge top. The longest zip is 3,100 feet, with speeds that can approach 60 mph. It also has zips of 1,600 feet and 1,300 feet, so you'll get plenty of zip time. This one is definitely for the adrenaline junkies who like to go fast.
The Burning Rock Express Dual-Racing Zip Line is at Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park. It is a double racing zip line that just lets it rip. At over 2,500 feet and speeds that approach 60 mph, this zip line will definitely get your attention. Although it is just one zip, it’s a great, exciting addition to the 100+ miles of ATV trails at Burning Rock.
We’re lucky to have so many great opportunities to enjoy a zip line (or 10) around here. It’s a unique adventure that you should make part of your next Gorge vacation, during Bridge Day weekend or any other time of year.
And if you love zip lines, maybe you should consider signing up to do the High Line next Bridge Day. It may not be as fast, but hanging 600 feet over the Gorge is a whole different kind of exhilaration.
Are you ready to zip?