Highlands Aerial Park

You’ll fall in love with the breathtaking views from high above the lush mountain woods of Western North Carolina on the Highlands Aerial Park, one of TripAdvisor.com most highly praised sites in the Smoky Mountains. Guests can choose from a number of activities at the park including the zipline canopy tour, the kids’ Brave Indians zipline (also good for grandparents), and the Nature Trail.

Canopy Tour – The park’s Canopy Tour is a unique zipline experience which begins near the top of High Holly Mountain. From there, the park’s guides will take you on a fantastic journey across 15 elements, including seven ziplines where you’ll see various tree and plant species which only grow in the N.C. “temperate rainforest.” You’ll glide over creeks and springs, gorges and waterfalls, for an incredible natural wonder-ride through America’s most beloved regions. Amongst the seven ziplines, Squealing Mare is a favorite with tourists. The 1/4 of a mile ride reaches a height of 210 feet above the ground with vistas of the Smokey Mountains that are legendary.

The Nature Trail – A ground-to-air Nature Trail begins at the Tree House with check-in, and continues as a self-guided walk of gradual descent to the headwaters of High Holly Creek. At the upper headwaters, the ground trail transitions onto a static bog bridge, which also serves as an observation platform for the Brave Indian (kid’s) course. The bridges lead to a century-old trail carved into the mountainside, which proceeds down a gentle slope for several hundred yards. Moss-covered rock formations are exposed, and native plant life abounds.

As you travel the nature trail, the musical burbling of the accompanying creek picks up as the water flow builds from additional mountain springs. Local old-timers say the nature trail ends at these falls because this was the site of the hidden moonshine still!

The nature trail continues along to a 150-foot suspended bridge spanning the creek, engineered to eliminate the mountain contour’s steep descent and subsequent climb, leaving only a minimal ascent on the nature trail to return to a nearly-level hike in a verdant, rain-forest environment. Along the tour, informational markers identify the native species abundant in the region.

The Tree House – The Tree House is a great place to relax, have a snack, and prepare for (and unwind from) your rides. Upon completion of your tour you return to the tree house, remove your gear and can watch the video and view photos of your trip. In addition to the snacks, there are plenty of photos, t-shirts, hats, and souvenirs available for purchase to make your trip complete.