A few years ago the big thing in adventure tours were Segways, and Segway sightseeing tours were all the craze in Florida. Today, it's zip line adventures. Whether you're hooked on the adventure of zip lining or you've never tried it but think you'd like to, there are several adventures now available in Florida — choose between stand-alone nature-based zip lines or those associated with other attractions.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, a zip line consists of a pulley suspended high in the air on a cable and mounted on a incline. The participant holds onto, or is attached to the free-moving pulley with a harness. The rider is propelled by gravity to travel — suspended — from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable.
Zip lines are not a recent invention. They have been used for many years in remote mountainous regions as methods of transportation — to access remote areas and to act as bridges across rivers. Many zip line rides today, however, are offered as a way to see the sights and experience nature in a unique and adventurous way.
Zip lines are definitely for adventure seekers and those that are physically fit. Access to the beginning of the zip line requires climbing at least 30 feet (and sometimes as high as 60 feet) to reach the platform where your zip line experience begins. Some of the nature-based zip line adventures also include crossing "sky" bridges (usually rope bridges or swaying wood and rope bridges) above tree canopy level.
Also, zip line operations have age, height, weight and attire restrictions, so it is best to ask about requirement and restrictions at the time you place your reservation. Keep in mind too that inclement weather may force the closing of these attractions.
Crocodile Crossing - Alligator Farm - St. Augustine
Cross an alligator and crocodile infested waters on one of two courses at St. Augustine's Alligator Farm — the Sepik River Course ($37, plus half-off Alligator Farm admission) includes three zip lines at about 20 feet high and the Nile River Course ($67 with free admission to Alligator Farm) has nine zip lines reaching heights of 60 feet.
Requirements: Participants must be at least 57" tall, 10 years of age and weigh no more than 250 lbs.
Crocodile Crossing is located at 999 Anastasia Blvd. St. Augustine, FL. Phone 904-824-3337.
Florida Forever - St. Cloud
Enjoy a birds-eye view of the Forever Florida Wildlife Conservation Area from the treetops; and, in addition to the traditional zip line, for additional fees, you may choose to see the sights via horseback safaris or coach tour. Admission of $79.99 includes two hours of zip line adventure.
Requirements: Children must be at least 10 years of age and participants must weigh no more than 265 pounds. Riders must wear closed-toe shoes and long shorts or pants and be in good health with no back or neck injuries.
Florida Forever is located at 4755 N. Kenansville Road, St. Cloud, Florida. Phone 407-957-9794 or toll free 1-866-854-3837.
Florida Zip Line Adventures - Milton
Soar over lower Wolfe Creek and Big Coldwater Creek in North Florida on the "ultimate" zip line adventure. During the five-hour adventure, observe nature along a one-mile course with 14 observation towers, two sky bridges and a spiral staircase into the aviary. Two- and three-hour adventures are also available and start at $89.
Requirements: Children must be at least 8 years of age. There is a weight restriction of between 70 and 250 lbs.
Florida Zip Line Adventures is located at 8974 Tomahawk Landing Road. Phone 850-623-6197.
Screamin' Gator Zip Line - Gatorland - Orlando
Launch from heights of up to 65 feet and soar over marshes filled with alligators and crocodiles! Experience daytime or nighttime zip adventures where you will launch from state-of-the-art towers featuring multilevel launch pads and travel 1200 feet at speeds of up to 30 mph. This zip adventure is available seasonally from mid-September through mid-December. Admission to park and zipline adventure is $69.99.
Requirements: Participants must be at least 37" tall and weight less than 275 and fit safely into the zip line harnesses. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present. Riders must wear closed-toe shoes and are discouraged from wearing skirts, dresses and short shorts and may not take along cell phones, cameras, etc.
Screamin' Gator Zip Line is situated within Gatorland located at 14501S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, Florida. Phone 407-855-5496 or toll free 1-800-393-5297.
Sky Trail Zip Line - MOSI - Tampa
A recent addition to Tampa's MOSI Sky Trail Ropes Course, the Sky Trail Zip Line allows participants to "fly" 65 feet over the Museum of Science and Industry. Possibly one of the least expensive (but also shortest) options to zip line in Florida, the adventure does require admission ($26.95) to the museum, with an add-on price of just $10 for non-members and $8 for members.
Requirements: Closed-toed athletic shoes are required. 42" is the minimum height to enjoy the course. Those 48" and taller may enjoy the course alone and those 42" to 47" must be accompanied by a responsible adult at least 18 years of age.
The Sky Trail Zip Line is located at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Avenue. Phone 813-987-6000.
The Canyons Zip Line - Ocala
Enjoy hours of soaring over the scenic vistas of rural Ocala. Participants will spend three hours on nine zip lines, two rope bridges, one rappel and a nature walk — all for just $96. Or, book the Canyons Express with five zip lines and one rope bridge for only $59.00.
Requirements: Participants must be at least 10 years of age, weigh between 70 and 270 pounds, and those under age 18 must have be accompanied by an adult parent or legal guardian.
The Canyons Zip Line is located at 8045 NW Gainesville Road (CR 25A), Ocala. Phone 352-351-9477.
TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park - Dade City
Climb, zip and sway on a combination ropes/zip course designed for personal challenge and adventure. The adventure is $10 (for children ages 5 & 6 with a paid adult), $35 for children 7-11, and $49 for adults (ages 12 and up).
Requirements: All climbers under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Children ages 5 or 6 must participate with an adult. Depending on the course, children ages 7-13 must be supervised by an adult or participate with an adult. Participants must weight less than 265 pounds and wear closed-toed shoes or sneakers.
TreeHoppers is located at 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. Phone 813-381-5400.
Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures - Brevard Zoo - Melbourne
Catch an aerial view of Brevard Zoo as you make your way through Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures' obstacle course and zip lines. Young families will find the adventure something they can all enjoy together with one course designed with children in mind — Chutes and Ladders. Two courses — Challenge Reloaded and Canopy Walk — are challenging enough for adults and have a height requirement of 5'4", but the Chutes and Ladders Course is for young ones at least 36" tall and no more than 5 ft. Admission is just $14.95 for Chutes and Ladders; $29.95 for Canopy Walk; and, $49.95 for Challenge Reloaded (zoo admission is not included, but you are not required to purchase Brevard Zoo admission to enter Treetop Trek).
Requirements: Weight restriction of 250 pounds or less applies. Children under age 12 must have an adult chaperone either one the ground or on the course (depending on course rules).
Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures is located within the Brevard Zoo at 8225 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne. Phone 321-254-9453.
Zip Orlando - Kissimmee
Zip along by day or night at a location that is minutes from Disney World, Universal Orlando and International Drive. Tower nearly 65 feet above Central Florida as you travel a mile-long course that includes eight zip lines and three suspension bridges. The two- or three-hour tours are sure to put a little "zip" in your vacation plans!
Requirements: No age or height restrictions. Weight must be between 70 and 270 pounds. Closed-toe shoes must be worn (no exceptions).
Zip Orlando is located at 4509 South Orange Blossom Trail, Kissimmee. Phone 407-808-4947.
ZOOm Air Adventure Park - Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Sanford
Get a birds-eye view of Central Florida Zoo from this high-in-the-sky adventure. Kids will especially enjoy a course designed especially for them (height restrictions 36" to 60" and at least four years old) and adults will enjoy the challenges on the Upland and Rainforest courses. Best of all, this is one of the most reasonably priced adventures in Florida — $21.75 for the Kid's Course to $54.95 to experience both the Upland and Rainforest courses. Annual passes are also available.
Requirements: Children's courses are restricted to participants between 36" and 60" tall and at least four years old. Participants must be 54" tall to ride the Upland and Rainforest courses. Closed-toe footwear is required.
ZOOm Air Adventure Park Orlando is located with the Central Florida Zoo at 3755 U.S. 17, Sanford. Phone 407-330-0767.
Zoom Air Treetop Adventure Park - Daytona Beach
Take a break from the beach and see Daytona Beach like it's never been seen before... from the tops of the trees! Tarzan never had this much fun! Courses include challenging work out and the exhilarating ride along zip lines. Prices range from $29.95 to $39.95. Family admission packs and annual passes are also available.
Requirements: Participants must be at least 54" tall. Other restrictions apply.
Zoom Air Adventure Park Daytona Beach is located at 1000 Orange Ave., Daytona Beach. Phone 386-569-3519.