When Patrick Avery toured Chattahoochee Nature Center with his wife and son in 2017, the adventure and designs operations manager with American Adventure Park Systems was off the clock, but he couldn’t keep his eyes off the trees.
“I remember speaking with my wife about how this would be an ideal location for a zipline course,” he recalled. “The visualization had already begun.”
A few months later, Chattahoochee Nature Center asked Avery to design a course that would showcase the topography of the area. He created a design in less than a day and Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures was born in partnership with Historic Banning Mills, the world’s largest ziplining park.
Avery and the American Adventure Park Systems engineers designed two courses to send visitors on aerial views of the ecosystem of the Chattahoochee Nature Center: the Eco Zipline Canopy Tour with longer zip lines that cross twice over the Beaver Pond, and the Aerial Adventure Course of up to 28 challenge elements including suspension bridges, ropes, and more.
The Eco Canopy Tour includes aerial elements similar to a high ropes course. It’s like walking out on sturdy limb or log with the perfect width for balancing. The ascent is an introduction to height, trusting your cables and learning to weave a special security clip through the course.
“I like the separate courses to have a variable of elements which are not only aesthetically pleasing by themselves, but also add interest to the natural lay of the woods and corridors,” Avery said. “Some will require balance, some will require strength, some will be more fun and allow participants a chance to rest and enjoy the views.”
The sky bridges are not strenuous but call upon often forgotten muscles to maintain balance. The challenge of the sky bridges makes the ziplines that much more rewarding. The first zipline is like sailing through the canopy as weightless as a flying squirrel. Stepping off the platform smoothly slides you into a seated position and the harnesses don’t pinch legs or pitch you forward.
The ziplines on the Eco Canopy Tour are engineered for maximum speed that tapers off to a soft landing. You pick up momentum in the middle, with the option of reclining your legs out straight for streamlined speed, and then return to a steady glide.
“Our tour model builds participant confidence and skills on lower, slower ziplines which will in general become longer, higher and faster for a nice capstone experience,” Avery said.
After practicing the launch and dismount on a handful of lines, you’ll be ready for the grand finale: sailing twice over the Beaver Pond. Since the first ziplines were a warm up, the long lines feel like flight.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is known for its hawks, owls and eagles, and the zipline courses will put you up in the air just like them.
For more details, visit cncziplines.com.