Have you ever had a dream where you were flying? Well that’s what the experience was like. You’re attached to this massive cable that’s only a portion of the width of your body where you then take a running leap of faith off a platform and into the trees. That’s what happened to us…and the experience was nothing short of awesome.
Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours
Entrance to The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours.
As the boys and I pulled into the entrance of the park, we were really getting excited about the upcoming events. I used to be a Canopy Tour Guide up in West Virginia so I knew (at least a little) of what to expect.
As far as Scottie and my Dad were concerned, they’ve never done it before but were pretty excited about the idea. To be soaring like a flying squirrel from tree to tree and over massive canyons…who wouldn’t jump on a chance to do that?
Getting geared up for the zip line.
Meeting our two guides Richard & Jose, we geared up and started making our way to the course. Our first stop: the training station. Richard & Jose acted as guinea pigs in showing us how to use our equipment properly as well as briefly going through the course.
They were keen on leaving no details out; from maintaining our gear, zipping along and keeping our bodies in the correct posture they had all 6 of us going down the wire as if we’d been doing this for years when, in fact, only 2 of us had ever done it before.
Zipping along from Platform 1.
Once we finished up with training, we hopped on over to Platform 1 where we walked across the first of the many rope bridges and got clipped in for the first zip!
Another platform view over the Canyon.
As the group went to the ledge of the platform, I watched one by one as each person took the fateful leap off the tree. Everyone seemed pretty hesitant about the whole ordeal (especially the first timers), but to their surprise it worked!
The next thing you know is that you’re flying through the trees upwards of 20-30 mph and you feel….free. On the other end of things, you could only hope that a bird doesn’t fly into you as your zipping along at his level…
My Dad going over the big zip line.
My favorite part of the course was, of course, the big zip. To get there, you take the zip over from the previous cliff and once you land…it’s the point of no return. The only way to move is forward so there is no going back! But once you take that leap, it’s simply unforgettable.
A look down the big zip.
People have been recorded of going upwards of 40+ mph on this thing and with the massive structure sticking straight out of the water in the middle of the sky, you truly feel like you’re up in the clouds. You actually tend to get this flying notion since you’re literally hovering just above the water from point A to point B.
Receiving point of the big zip line.
The loud ‘zing’ of the track going down the cable is screaming at you just adding to the excitement but add the fresh, clean air blowing in your face and you’re at an all time high.
One of the massive rope bridges.
After that quick & exhilarating adrenaline rush of moving at worp speed finally hits, you make it to the other side and thoughts that the entire experience is over with…but it’s not. Your next challenge is crossing the longest of the rope bridges. Who knew they had this sort of thing in Florida!
Whatever you do…Don’t look down!
I never knew that, unless you were skydiving or paragliding you could find somewhere to be afraid of heights in such a flat State. So here’s your warning: this zip line course in Ocala is not for the faint of heart.
Once you pass the giant moving bridge, you take your last zip to the final challenge…a 40 foot drop straight down. But not to worry, you don’t need to jump but simply slide down a belayed rope by passing it between your hands.
The end of the course & rappelling station.
All in all, the experience was absolutely stunning and exceeded all expectations of any zip line course I could have imagined in Florida. Between zipping over the massive 100-200 foot cliffs, walking over the sturdy (yet scary) rope bridges and rappelling from the canopies of the trees back down to the ground, we really enjoyed our time there.
So the next time you’re in this neck of the woods, be sure to swing by Ocala and visit The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours. You, your family and your friends will have the time of their lives! Have you ever been zip lining before? Where did you go & what was the experience like?