With spring finally here, the Adventure Center of Asheville’s zip lines, bike pump track and treetop adventure course are in full swing, with hundreds of thrill seekers jumping, climbing and zipping. The Adventure Center, located next to Crowne Plaza Resort in West Asheville is already seeing sold out days filled with families and fun lovers. Right now, local groups can rally for a good cause with a chance of zipping or climbing for free in June.
For the fifth year running, the Adventure Center is signing up groups to participate in its “Zipping for Autism” fundraiser for the Autism Society of North Carolina. Teams that raise $800 by June 5 get to run the Zipline Canopy tour for free, and groups that raise $1,100 can scamper though the treetop obstacle course as well.
“This is our annual big push to give back to a great organization,” says the Adventure Center’s Sarah Dickson. “Each year, our community really steps up, and we’re excited to create and host an event for them.” Last year, teams raised $40,000 and Dickson said the center is shooting for $50,000 this year.
Teams of up to ten people can register online at www.zippingforautism.com. Every dollar raised will be donated to the Autism Society of North Carolina and will stay in western North Carolina to offer respite, increase advocacy, and assist families who cannot afford evaluative and diagnostic services.
Anyone, youth or adult can participate, though zippers need to be at least 10 years old and weigh between 70-250 lbs. The Asheville Treetops Adventure Park participants must be over the age of 4 and under 265 lbs.
Several Asheville restaurants will hold “Spirit Nights” in May and June to raise funds for the cause. Find out dates and locations at www.zippingforautism.com.
The Adventure Center of Asheville has been expanding each year since it first launched zip lines in West Asheville in 2011. The park now boasts a 65-foot tower with 12 zip lines and three sky bridges, a kid’s zip course, five treetop adventure courses, a full mountain bike track with intentionally-built obstacles, and bike pump tracks for kids and adults. Last year, the center added a Quick Jump where zip line guests can leap from the top of the Adventure Tower and fall 65 feet before being lowered safely to the ground.
As the Adventure Center expands, it continues to draw more and more tourists and locals alike. It had over 26,000 visitors in 2015, Dickson says and many Asheville residents pick up season passes each year. “It’s an easy way to get outdoors without leaving town,” she says. “And it encourages people to get out of their comfort zones.”
With five different routes and levels of technical difficulty, the Treetops Adventure Park has become a popular location for group team building and individual thrill seekers alike. The self-guided course offers the security of full body harnesses that lock into safety cables and can accommodate all kinds of people, young and old.
“As long as you can bend, balance and go up a step, you can do it,” she says.
But the courses still push participants, who can try challenges ranging from beginner to what Dickson describes as “Ninja Warrior.” Even children who start off wary or nervous usually open up and wind up wanting to run the course again. “They finish saying ‘I’ve done it!’” Dickson says. “There’s a sense of accomplishment. It’s a great thing to see.”
Adventure Center of Asheville
1 Resort Drive
West Asheville NC
(828) 225-2921 office, 877-247-5539 – reservations are suggested
Open rain or shine – all year long – Days and Hours vary – please check website for up to date info.