Zip through for the best views

If the view from the ground is getting old — how about a view from 200 feet in the air?

Ziplining provides a view of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, lush forests and water features from a new vantage point. 

Zipline tours are composed of a series of steel cables fixed between trees, poles or towers and are traversed on pulleys. All participants wear harnesses and head protection to ensure safety while flying through the air.

Sky Valley Zip Tours in Boone was professionally designed and features 10 ziplines, a cliff jump, a swinging bridge and a series of countless views. The course is located on 140 acres, including a beautiful waterfall.

The tour groups are led by two trained canopy rangers who will guide visitors along the three-hour tour, which begins with an off-road ATV ride through the river and up the mountain. Once at the top of the mountain, participants learn the simple techniques used to navigate the course before departing on the first ride across the valley.

“One of the authentic points of our course is it’s a true canopy tour … defined by lines and experiences that are in or above the tree canopy,” Sky Valley owner Jack Sharp said. “We’re nestled back in a real rugged piece of property where you’ll able to experience a lot of diverse plants and trees and flowers, as well as fly through them in and above the trees the whole time.”

The cliff jump takes zippers to a 45-foot rock cliff, where they jump from the platform and then rappel down the cliff face. 

“Other people think the 120-foot bridge over the creek is very thrilling,” Sharp added. “It shows the diversity of our tour. We’re not just ziplining.”

Sky Valley zippers must be at least 10 years old, at least 70 pounds and no more than 250 pounds. Tours start at $79 per person. Advanced booking is encouraged, and reservations made within 10 days of the trip must be paid in full. 

Tours are rain or shine — “a little bit of rain seems to add to the adventure,” Sharp said — but severe weather may force tours to be rescheduled. Sharp said the busiest month for tours is July, with late morning tours seemingly the most popular.

Sky Valley is located three miles from the Boone Mall in Boone at Camp Sky Ranch, located at 634 Sky Ranch Road. For more information, visit, or call (855) 475-9947.

Hawksnest Ziplines in Seven Devils has 20 ziplines, including four mega zips — two more than 2,000 feet long and two more than 1,500 feet long. Hawksnest has four miles of zipline riding, with heights that exceed 200 feet and speeds up to 50 mph.

Ziplines are over trees, through trees, over lakes and creeks with panoramic views on almost every ride. 

Hawksnest is open seven days a week. Tours begin at 10 a.m. daily. Tours start at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Early morning tours are available upon request and availability.

Two different canopy tours are available, the Hawk Tour, which costs $80 per person, and the Eagle Tour, which costs $90 per person. Children must be at least 5 years old for the Hawk Tour and 8 years old for the Eagle Tour.

Reservations are required for tours. Try to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled tour starts. Tours take about 1.5 to two hours to complete.

Hawksnest is located just off of N.C. 105 South between Boone and Banner Elk.

For more information about Hawksnest zipline canopy tours, call (828) 963-6561, or visit

View more photos and videos of these adventures at

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