Ocala Horse Properties - 2023 Winter Farm Portfolio

When you think about zip-lining, the steamy, rainforest canopies of Costa Rica certainly come to mind. Perhaps, even, the deep river gorges of Washington State, towering mountain crevasses of British Colombia, and even tequila-soaked Riviera Maya routes. Indeed, what better way to explore these scenic terrains than dangling from a harness and zipping across hundreds of feet of suspended cable lines? With your adrenaline pumping as you glide—effortlessly or screaming—above breathtaking landscapes, you’ll hardly worry about how far you are from the ground. And yet, in a state as flat as Florida, is that even possible? Absolutely! Consider the Marion County marvel called The Canyons. This 94-acre abandoned limestone quarry off Interstate 75 features clusters of rocky cliffs, wide blue lakes, and towering trees that have remained virtually untouched since the miners walked away in the 1930s. The course opened in November 2011, thanks to the foresight and vision of owner and entrepreneur Traci Walker. Having worked at other zip line tours and seeing how popular they were, she and her husband Dave decided to create their own. The Naples couple searched Florida high and low, pun intended) before settling on the old mining tract. At that time, the only caveats were: No mining, no digging, and don’t mess with its natural beauty. “We wanted to keep it in a nice, native state,” Walker says. The property was a little overgrown when Canyons Zip Line moved in, but other than that, it was ecotourism heaven. When builders came in to hang lines and construct platforms from the trees, they spotted alligators in the ponds and bobcats in the brush, and they became friendly with a barn owl that watched their work. Upon completion, the canyons and cliffs, dense tropical environments, and spring-fed lakes views offered nine different zip line experiences, each more adventurous than the next. Thanks to the natural elevation, The Canyons has the tallest and longest ziplines in Florida, some as high as 155 feet, with their longest zipline running 1,150 feet in length! The course progressively gets higher and more daring, with 100-foot lines spanning sparkling water. For zip aficionadoes, the course never gets dull, with fun additions such as a long Indiana Jones-style rope bridge or a 30-foot rappel to safe ground. For those acrophobes who aren’t quite ready to go sky-high, The Canyon also offers stunning horseback riding tours and kayaking with equally beautiful forest views. And each month, the company features specialty tours such as Night Zip Line Tours under the full moon and a night “Horseback ride to Fireside” including wine and smores by the fire. Whether you go high or low, waterside or fireside, The Canyons is an adventure like no other in the heart of Marion County. ABOUT ZIPLINING Zip lining has been around for centuries as a means for people to cross mountainous or heavily forested terrain. Most modern-day zip lines bill themselves as, “Eco-Tours,” and there is a reason for that. Biologists needed to get into the dense rainforests in places like Costa Rica, and zip lining provided an unobtrusive way to do that. Instead of paving a road or blowing up the side of a mountain, they put up a few highly secure poles and a small landing space. For those unfamiliar with the sport, a zip line consists of a pulley suspended high in the air on a cable and mounted on an incline. The participant holds on to, or is attached to, the free-moving pulley with a harness. The rider is propelled by gravity to travel — suspended — from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable. Zip lines are definitely for adventure seekers and those that are physically fit. Access to the beginning of the zip line requires climbing at least 30 feet (and sometimes as high as 60 feet) to reach the platform where your zip line experience begins. Some of the nature-based zip line adventures also include crossing “sky” bridges (usually rope bridges or swaying wood and rope bridges) above tree canopy level. Also, zip line operations have age, height, weight, and attire restrictions, so it is best to ask about requirements and restrictions at the time you place your reservation. Keep in mind too that inclement weather may force the closing of these attractions. WHY YOU NEED TO GO: A sky-high adventure through the trees, over cliffs & canyons, and above the water. They offer 9 scenic zip lines crossing 2 rope bridges, horseback riding and even kayaking for an all-out jungle and nature escape. www.zipthecanyons.com Choose from nine epic zipline experiences, including this dazzling drop that spans sparkling spring-fed waters. OCALA HORSE PROPERTIES | WINTER/SPRING SEASON 2023 OCALAHORSEPROPERTIES.COM | 165