Commercial zip lines are now popular - and plentiful - in the Carolinas.
You get fresh air. You get high-speed thrills. Because lines are pay-by-the-course or tour, you get varying Tarzan experiences. They delight kids and are safe enough to attract octogenarians.
More than a dozen are operating in North Carolina. Let's get zipping.
Navitat Canopy Adventures - Barnardsville
This course, 20 miles north of Asheville, is tucked into the mountains surrounding Moody Cove. The canopy tour is entirely tree-based and features 10 zip lines, 120 to 1,100 feet in length. New this year: the "Navitat at Night" tour, where you zip among owls, opossums and fireflies, with a lantern on your helmet. Cost: $89; $79 for ages 14-18 (you must weigh at least 90 pounds). Night tours ($109; must be 14 or older) start at dusk, Thursday-Saturday only. A tour lasts 3 1/2 hours. Open daily until the end of November. Details: 828-626-3700; www.navitat.com.
ZipQuest - Fayetteville
The course may be in the Sandhills, but in the Carvers Falls area what you see while aloft is far from flat. There are eight zip lines, and one 1,000-foot run crosses over the 150-feet-wide falls. Cost: $85 (must be 10 or older). Open daily. Details: 910-488-8787; www.zipquest.com.
Scream Time Zip Line - Boone
It's on U.S. 421, about 11 miles north of Boone. A regular 21/2-hour tour consists of six zip lines; the shortest is 450 feet long and the longest is a whopping 2,000 feet. Open daily. Cost: $89 (there are weight requirements). Details: 828-898-5404; www.screamtimezipline.com.
Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours - Bryson City
The Wildwater outfitters company has an 11-line course. Four start on a deck at ground level, then move into the trees. The final one is 650 feet long. Cost: $79 (must be 10 or older and weigh at least 70 pounds). Open daily. Details: 800-451-9972; www.adventureamericaziplinecanopytours.com.
Big Woods Zip line - Booneville
This Yadkin Valley zip line is not far from Sanders Ridge Winery. The aerial course has 12 lines ranging from 100 to 800 feet. Cost: $60; $40 for 13 and younger (must be accompanied by parent) and 65 and older. Tours daily; hours vary. Details: 336-677-1509; www.bigwoodszipline.com.
Earthshine Mountain Lodge - Lake Toxaway
The lodge specializes in family and corporate retreats. The seven-stage, six-zip line course takes about 21/2 hours. Cost: $60 (you must be 10 or older). If you're staying at the lodge, use of zip course is free. Details: 828-862-4207; www.earthshinelodge.com.
The Beanstalk Journey at Catawba Meadows - Morganton
The minimum zip age is 4 at this kid-friendly operation. The theme here riffs off "Jack & The Beanstalk" (a 32-foot climbing tower) and "Star Wars" (elevated platforms are done up to resemble Ewok villages). There are 10 zip lines, five on each of its two courses. Cost: $49 per course; group specials. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Details: 828-430-3440; thebeanstalkjourney.com/the-beanstalk-journey .
Richland Creek Zipline & Canopy Tours - Asheboro
You're looking at over a mile of cable - 15 runs along Richland Creek in the forest at the base of Purgatory Mountain, next to the backside of the N.C. Zoo. Open daily year-round. Cost: $40 (42-inch waist maximum); $25 for 12 and younger (4- or 5-year-olds allowed). Details: 336-629-9440; www.richlandcreekzipline.com.
Kersey Valley Zip Line - High Point
KV's 1.5-mile course is open throughout the year. A group of seven can complete the 10-line basic course in 21/2 hours (including "flight school" training). Cost: $89 (must be 10 or older and weigh 70-250 pounds). Cost for 14-line course: $119 (four extra lines are the longest/fastest on the property). Details: 336-802-1962; www.kerseyvalleyzipline.com.
Carolina Zip Lines - Westfield
The 26-acre farm near Winston-Salem offers a canopy tour at the base of Hanging Rock State Park, with 20-plus zip lines that range in length from 100 to 1,400 feet. Cost: $80; $40 for ages 3-12; closed Mondays unless it's a public holiday. The Joshua Cox Inn, a B&B, will be opening there in midsummer. Details: 336-972-7656; www.carolinaziplines.com.
Hawksnest - Seven Devils
Hawksnest is the Boone/Blowing Rock ski resort that shifted to snow tubing a few years back, and also added 10 year-round zip lines ranging from 300 to 1,800 feet in length. The course is 1.5 miles long. A second course - with eight lines - opened this month. Enjoy the views: Elevation at Hawksnest is 4,500 feet. Open daily. Cost: $65 (must be 5 or older). New course: $75 (must be at least 10 years old - the lines are longer and higher). Details: 800-822-4295; www.hawksnestzipline.com .
Plumtree Canopy Tours - Plumtree
See gorgeous mountain scenery just north of Spruce Pine and try 11 zip lines. One runs along Isaac's Branch Creek, from 60 feet up. It's owned and operated by Toe River Lodge resort; a full lunch at the lodge restaurant is included. Open Wednesday-Sunday; four tours daily. Cost: $79 (must be at least 10 and weigh 70-250 pounds). $10 discount if you stay at the lodge. Details: 828-765-9696; www.vancetoeriverlodge.com .
Zip Line Tours at Boulderline Adventure Programs - Lake Lure
BAP has a four-zip line ridge-to-ridge course that goes over woods and streams. Up to 10 people can ply the course at a time, roughly at two-hour intervals. You must weigh 40-265 pounds. Cost: $40 per person (groups of five or less) or $35 (groups of six-10). Closed Mondays. Details: 828-625-4913; www.boulderline.com.