Shadow

Adventurists find new venue in The Gorge zip line

Published 8:10pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

She noted that she and Tim began planning canopy tours in early 2010.

“We’ve spent the last year planning specifics,” Sara Bell said.

She also noted that only 40 certified zip line vendors exist in the U.S. The Bells chose Challenge Designs Innovation, based in Newland, N.C.

“We interviewed several, and they were the best fit,” recalled Sara. “Their philosophy was definitely in line with ours.”

That translates into leaving as many trees standing as possible, while trimming a 12-foot-wide tunnel through the forest.

“We repurposed as many trees as possible,” added Bell.

She also stressed that they and the designers were careful to not simply clear-cut a space for the line. Participants glide through old-growth timber, but on clear days, can enjoy 90-mile views. All the while, they experience sky bridges and three huge rappels.

The course’s accommodating and appealing location is no coincidence.

“We knew we had a phenomenal piece of property,” Sara Bell noted.

Bell mentioned that one of the course builders expressed great pride in completing The Gorge, and said they would love to return to ride it.

The Gorge accommodates participants from ages 10 and up, and from 70 to 250 pounds. It operates seven days a week, with the first tour leaving at 8 a.m. In the peak of summer, the last tour departs at 5 p.m.

While The Gorge has participants booked into the fall of 2013, plenty of openings exist now. For reservations, visit www.thegorgezipline.com. One may also call 828-749-2500, or toll-free at 1-855-749-2500. The Gorge is located at 166 Honey Bee Drive, Saluda, just off Holbert Cove Road.

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