Written and Photographed by Lynn Dark
If zip lining is on your bucket list, you should definitely check out Adrenaline Rush Zip Tour. Located about six miles south of Jacksonville, Adrenaline Rush boasts eight zips that are spread out over 52 scenic acres. Most of the zips take you across beautiful lakes. The 8th and final zip is one of the longest in Texas at 1700 feet.
When I visited the property to meet with company owner Annette Kimbrell for an interview, she graciously invited me to return the next day for a zip tour. Unfortunately, I have a condition known as acrophobia, more commonly known as fear of heights. Kimbrell explained that some people come out specifically to conquer that fear. Sadly, I will not be one of those people. However, I strongly encourage others to do that very thing.
If you are interested in zip lining, you couldn’t find a better place to do it. For people who are willing to leave the ground, it seems like it would be very exciting. You can travel from one station to another at up to 40 miles per hour – even faster if the conditions are right, and you know what you’re doing.
For those who have never been, or only have a vague idea about what zip lining entails, here are some of the basics: First of all, you wear a harness which is then attached to not one but two galvanized steel cables. You also wear a helmet. You climb onto a stand for each zip. Once there, a staff member attaches you to the cables with carabiners and sends you on your way. Another staff member is waiting at the other end to catch and unhook you.
To zip the longest line takes anywhere from 30 to 50 seconds, depending on certain factors. Wind, weight, and technique are among the things that determine your speed. There are tours of five, seven, and eight zips available. It takes about an hour to complete five zips, and about an hour and a half to do all eight. Times vary depending on the number of people on the tour, as well as whether people stop to visit, etc. You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your tour time.
You don’t have to be in great shape to zip line, but you do have to weigh less than 275 pounds. Children should be at least seven years old. Adrenaline Rush strives to accommodate the elderly, having had guests as old as 90. They have had participants with a wide range of disabilities including missing upper limbs, and blindness. People diagnosed with cancer who choose to live life to the fullest come out for tours. Visitors must be able to get up the steps of the stands on their own. Zip lining while pregnant is strongly discouraged.
The company has an impeccable safety record. There have been no equipment malfunctions or accidents, and the only minor injuries (bumps and bruises) have occurred when people have failed to follow instructions. For example, you are told specifically not to try to stop yourself by putting your legs down, but to keep them up and be caught at the end. Those who disregard that directive place themselves in a position to receive minor injuries. All tour participants are required to sign a waiver prior to their tour.
I assumed that the purpose of two lines was that if one line breaks, the other is there to catch you. While that presumption is technically true, that isn’t the reason, rather there is actually less wear and tear on the lines if two are used instead of one. The lines are inspected monthly by the company and annually by an outside inspector. Using two lines means that they won’t have to be replaced as often.
Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour, LLC opened in 2011, and is open all year. It is busier when the weather is nice, but they will do tours all year for those who are willing to brave the elements. Summer is
usually the busiest time, and the company has averaged about 2500 visitors per year. People from as far away as England, Africa, China, and Greenland have found their way to the property.
When a photographer is available, you can purchase photos of your zip tour for $5. The pictures are placed on a CD, which you can take with you when you leave that day. Adrenaline Rush does not advertise this, as they are not always able to have a photographer present.
Gift certificates are available for birthday or Christmas gifting. The company currently sells t-shirts in the gift shop, and is considering offering other souvenirs in the future.
The company operates by reservation only, and 24-48 hour notice is required. You might want to consider more notice during busier periods, as a tour could fill up during your preferred time. The facility will sometimes close for a day or two to give the staff a short break.
Once you’ve made your reservation, a staff member will text you directions based on where you are coming from. Groups of up to 37 people can be accommodated at one time.
For more info including current pricing, please visit their website at www.daretozip.com. To make a reservation call (903)683-6855. A credit card is required, and there is a no-show/late cancellation fee.
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