From NashvilleParent Magazine, April 2010, page 84
out & about: soar through the air in the woods with adventureworks
I have a healthy fear of heights, but every so often I feel the need to address it by doing something radical ... at least for me. Recently, I found an exciting outlet for helping conquer my fraidy cat perspective of heights while experiencing an exhilarating rush: a zip line excursion!
Adventureworks in Kingston Springs has been around for nearly 25 years offering motivational and recreational teambuilding to corporate clients. Last year, the destination became more family friendly with the addition of a zip line course. Nestled on 40 lush acres of wooded hills alongside the Harpeth River, the property itself is conducive to an extreme outdoor adventure. The 90-minute excursion includes nine zip lines (one of which guests do twice, so technically you get 10 zips). After “suiting up” in a harness and helmet, a tour guide leads your group to the first line, akin to a “bunny slope.” After brief instruction on how to hook the harness’s pulley device to the cable, it’s time to take off running until there’s no more ground under your feet and you zoom through the air letting gravity deliver you to the other side.
I admit I came close to chickening out, but didn’t want to be upstaged by the 6-year-old in the group who was eager to go first and laughed like a hyena all the way across the line. The first zip was a little unnerving to me once my feet were dangling. I found myself white-knuckling the rope connected to the pulley on my harness, but I fought the urge to clamp my eyes shut (besides, you have to know when you’re about to crash — I mean land — on the other side). Once I made it, my adrenaline pumped; I was ready for more! Each consecutive line is longer and higher off the ground than the prior, and a couple of them start so high in a tree that you are on a platform and when ready to go, you just jump and glide — AWESOME! The longest line is 450 feet long and 85 feet tall. Traveling at a speed of 25 - 30 miles per hour high off the ground is breathtaking, and it’s really quite something when you’re brave enough to fly across hands free! One of the lines is dual, side by side, so two zippers can take off simultaneously and race to the other side.
The excursion is much fun for all ages. If you’re like me, you’ll want to do it again immediately. While you’re there, you can also check out the Giant Swing. Harness up and let the others in your group pull you up to a maximum height of 60 feet in the air via a rope and pulley system. Tug on the rip cord and go sailing through the air rigged to a cable device secured in the tree tops. This one is not for the faint of heart. The brave, little thrill seekers in my group LOVED the swing and didn’t hesitate to be hoisted up as high as it went.
This month is a perfect time to plan an outing as leaves are back in bloom. I have no doubt your kids will deem you the coolest parent on the planet if you take them to Adventureworks.
Excursions take place daily every month of the year and are by reservation only. There is no minimum weight requirement, but maximum weight capacity is 275 pounds. The zip tour is $49.20 for adults, $38.27 for kids 17 and younger; family discounts are available. The Giant Swing is an additional $15 per person for two swings. Adventureworks is located at 1300 Narrow Road. For more info about other opportunities like the High Adventure, Quantam Leap and Adventure Challenge, or to book a trip for your family, call 297-2250 or visit adventureworks.com.
— chad young