As the helicopter winch jerked my harness upward and the ground fell further and further away, I had two very distinct thoughts.
The first one was, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”
The second one was, “This is the most fun I've had in a long time!”
The first time I zipped through the trees, it was just like flying. And now I'm hooked on ziplining. You can get hooked, too.
The Chatooga Ridge Canopy Tour is a zipline adventure offered by Wildwater Ltd. It's just two hours away from Roswell, right off the Georgia/South Carolina state line. If you watch those group discount sites, you might even get a great deal - like we did from Living Social, which gave us the full tour for only $39 per person, regularly $79 per person.
The package includes over three hours in the air with two guides and state-of-the-art equipment. It's designed for smooth, gliding views of the treetops and takes limited energy, so it's great for ages 10 and up. The canopy tour includes four bridges, 10 ziplines, four lake crossings and beautiful scenic and historic views over twenty acres in Long Creek, SC.
Since we were the only people in our group and were up for further adventure, our guides let us try the High Ropes Course, which can be added to a Canopy Tour for $40. I'll be honest, it was one of the hardest and scariest physical challenges I've done - and I absolutely loved it. There are eight different ropes elements, including tightropes, bridges and one terrifying and phenomenal walk across a telephone pole with no handholds.
Of course, every element is safe because you're wearing helmets and safety wires. But if you want to get your heart rate going and truly challenge yourself, this is a great way to do it. That goes for kids over 10, adults of all ages and even corporate events.
You may have so much fun, one afternoon isn't enough. In that case, you can turn your Canopy Tour adventure into an entire weekend. Wildwater Ltd also offers several different whitewater rafting experiences on the Chatooga River, where Deliverance was filmed. I did their toughest run, the Section IV trip, back in 2002and I'll never forget rafting the Bull Sluice. But they also have calmer rafting experiences, not to mention kayaking tours if you're looking for relaxation. Stay overnight in an on-site cabin rental or group yurt, which is like a giant, round tent. They'd be glad to help you plan a weekend of adventures, good food and sleeping in the great outdoors.
If you're more into city life, you might enjoy doing what we did: Dinner at the historic Calhoun Corners restaurant in Clemson, a movie and then staying at the Microtel in Anderson, SC. There's so much to see in that corner of South Carolina, from Clemson University sports and the South Carolina Botanical Garden to beautiful drives and sightseeing in the mountains.
Just a short, two-hour drive from Roswell can land you in some of the most beautiful country in the southeast.
And believe me when I say that it's best, I've seen it from the air while ziplining.