The appeal of zip lining and treetop tours as adrenaline-pumping means to explore the verdant forest canopy has skyrocketed in recent years.
They present a perfect blend of thrill, safety, and a unique perspective of nature.
We sought out the guidance of a panel of specialists, who put forward their top picks for the most captivating aerial adventure parks in the United States.
Our readers then had their say, voting to determine the top 9 aerial adventure parks of 2023 that truly stand out in this exciting category.
No. 9: The Gorge - Saluda, North Carolina
Boasting of being steep, fast, and stunning, The Gorge in North Carolina provides a tree-based escapade unlike any other.
Comprised of 11 zip lines covering more than a mile, and descending over 1,100 vertical feet, thrill-seekers will be captivated.
Adding to the adventure, the course incorporates a sky bridge and three rappels amidst the breathtaking North Carolina landscape.
No. 8: Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures - Cape Canaveral, Florida
Nestled within a canopy of live oak trees, Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures offers 49 distinct challenges for its visitors.
Participants have the option of choosing from seven trails of three varying difficulty levels, exploring the park through an assortment of zip lines, catwalks, nets, suspension bridges, and rope bridges - a true feast of aerial adventure.
No. 7: Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park - Multiple locations
With 15 locations dotted across the United States, Go Ape is committed to providing a matchless outdoor adventure experience.
The options range from a brief, one-hour journey to a comprehensive two- to three-hour aerial escapade.
Guests are kept engaged with rope ladders, wobbly bridges, nets, challenging crossings, and tricky planks.
No. 6: Camelback Mountain Adventures - Tannersville, Pennsylvania
Hosting Pennsylvania's longest zip line, the 4,000-foot Zip Flyer, Camelback Mountain Adventures beckons thrill-seekers to Tannersville.
This park also features a variety of aerial obstacle courses for both children and adults, a steel-track mountain coaster, and a pair of 1,000-foot-long zip lines.
No. 5: The Forge: Lemont Quarries - Lemont, Illinois
Presenting a variety of adventures for all ages, The Forge: Lemont Quarries features ropes courses, climbing walls, and a 1,000-foot zip line.
With hundreds of elements designed for various difficulty levels, the ropes courses ensure challenges for all.
Meanwhile, the climbing walls offer diverse experiences, from beginner-friendly bouldering to challenging 90-foot-tall rock walls.
No. 4: Shepherd's Adventure Park - Branson, Missouri
Shepherd's Adventure Park adds a dash of thrill to the serene Ozark Mountains.
Offering a ropes course, a zipline canopy tour, and the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider — Missouri’s highest zip line — it promises a heart-pounding ride as you zip at speeds up to 55 mph from a height of 140 feet.
No. 3: Hocking Hills Canopy Tours - Rockbridge, Ohio
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours offers an unmatched opportunity to delve into the mesmerizing natural features of Hocking Hills from a bird's eye view.
Visitors can choose from an array of aerial adventures including The Original Canopy Tour, The X Tour with 11 zip lines, The SuperZip reaching speeds up to 50 mph, and The DragonFly specially designed for younger adventurers.
No. 2: ZipZone Outdoor Adventures - Columbus, Ohio
For those seeking a breath of fresh air and a rush of adrenaline during their visit to Columbus, ZipZone Outdoor Adventures is the go-to destination.
This expansive adventure park features zip line tracks, a treetop obstacle course, and a special kids’ zone, ensuring fun for the whole family.
No. 1: The Redwood Sky Walk - Eureka, California
The Redwood Sky Walk offers an unparalleled opportunity to marvel at the majesty of Northern California's towering redwoods.
Elevated 100 feet above the ground, this quarter-mile walkway is the longest of its kind on the West Coast.
Providing awe-inspiring views of the ancient trees, it offers a tranquil yet thrilling adventure.