Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on July 7, 2020
We all know why people enjoy ziplining. It's a lot of fun. And it's exciting. And a little scary, but in a good way. How can it not be all those things? After all, you're clipping yourself onto a metal cable and hurtling yourself through the air for hundreds of feet at a time, often with a lot of space between you and the ground. Yes, ziplining is a lot of fun.
But there are other positive benefits to the experience you might not have been aware of. In fact, in some ways, ziplining can be downright therapeutic. For example, one zipline outfitter in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, area is in operation for that explicit purpose. Empower Adventures, developed by former Army Ranger Joe DeRing was created, as he puts it, to help people “push past perceived limitations.”
That particular course has five lines ranging from 350 to 750 feet in length. Riders fly as high as 70 feet over mangrove swamps, salt marshes and open water. Just as we do here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, guides get guests geared up and take all the necessary safety precautions. Many first-timers get the jitters, but as with any adaptive experience, practice makes perfect (or at least, better). DeRing notes that it usually doesn't take long for those with second thoughts to relax into ziplining and actually begin to focus less on their discomfort and focus more on the scenery and the sensation of winging through air while suspended from a zipline cable.
In some settings, ziplines are used in a more overtly healing manner. At Great Kids Place, a children's therapeutic center in Rockaway, New Jersey, indoor ziplines are one of the many play-based tools used to boost the development of children with a wide range of sensory-related conditions, including ADHD, conduct disorder, anxiety, depression and autism. Ziplines are used – along with features like ball pits, rock walls, monkey bars and more – to provide sensory play experiences for children in a safe and nurturing environment. Great Kids Place isn't the only center adopting that approach to working with children. Facilities all over the country have incorporated ziplining into their therapeutic services in working with sensory children.
What are the limits to ziplining's effectiveness? We may just be scratching the surface. Researchers at the University of Maui Lahaina College in Hawaii claim they have discovered a cure for patients suffering from the pain of kidney stones. Yep, by sending them down a zipline. Dr. Jennifer Aluna, who led the study, says her findings showed that the jostling and constant vibrations experienced while traveling down a zipline can effectively dislodge kidney stones in some patients. They hope to apply this same treatment to patients suffering from gallstone attacks, joint and muscle disorders and even the alleviation of migraines.
We can't make or substantiate any medical claims of that nature. But if you happen to be dealing with kidney stones or gallstones or migraines, and if you happen to be ziplining in Gatlinburg with us, it might be worth at least giving it a try. We have seven ziplines that span a total of 4,200 feet. The longest is 800 feet, and at points on the tour, you'll be 150 feet above the forest floor. We also have a 30-foot controlled-descent feature that will get you moving vertically. We can't guarantee that any of this will dislodge kidney stones or help migraine pain, but at the very least, we can promise you that you'll have a lot of fun with us in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.