ZIPLINING IN FLORIDA

Florida Guide > Other Activities

Something quite unique is Zipline Safari, which can be found in St Cloud, just south of Holopaw, off the US 441. ‘Forever Florida’ is a 4, 700 acre wildlife conservation area which has nine unique and quite distinct ecosystems. Here you will see wetlands and forests, pasture and natural streams, marsh and cypress domes, which are home to numerous varieties of flora and fauna. There is also a working cattle ranch, the Crescent J, which features a living museum of Spanish Colonial Cattle and Florida’s Cracker Horses.

Here at ‘Forever Florida, ’ you can take part in a horseback adventure, or ride on one of their Coach Safaris. However, the latest adventure is to zip-line above this diverse ecosystem, 55 ft above the ground, at speeds of up to 20 miles an hour. It is a thrilling ride which allows you to both see and learn about Florida’s natural flora and fauna.

First you will take a short hike along the scenic Florida Trail, until you come to the launching area of the zipline course. The experience starts when you are harnessed to a cable, and with safely being a priority you also wear a helmet. Experienced guides are ready to lead you. Before you start the zip-line you are given instructions on how to hold on, and how to steer if you start spinning around, but there are people on each platform to catch you and help you so you don’t need to be too worried. You need to make sure that you don’t have anything on you that might fall off – exactly like when you go on some of the more intense rides at the theme parks, so make sure you remove loose items like hats, wallets, sunglasses, keys or flip-flops. Containers are provided for these items, so make sure you use them.

The ride itself is fast and smooth, and the speed means that you won’t have much time to concentrate on the scenery, as it just whizzes by as you soar through the tree tops. But once you reach the platforms you will have time to stand and admire the breathtaking scenery and the flora and fauna. You may even see black bears, white deer and alligators. It is possible to zip line in pairs as each leg has two wires going across. The runs span up to 750 ft in length, and on the way you go across two sky-bridges, which span a ‘slough’ which is a type of forested wetland. It really does feel like flying, as you take wing, high above the native wildlife below. Finally you arrive at ground level where there is an animal interactions area with alligators, a puma and other animals. Following this you will be transported by safari coach to the Visitor Center.

You need to allow two and a half hours to experience this wonderful adventure. There are even magical moonlight safaris which take place when the moon is full.

You can take a packed lunch with you but there is an eatery on site, selling sweet potato fries and beef raised on the ranch itself.

Don’t forget to take your camera!

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Page added on: 1 December 2012
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