Thursday, April 25, 2013

From the river to the trees - new Zipline Canopy Tour opens

The Asheville area's newest zipline canopy tour has just opened in Marshall, NC. The outdoor professionals at French Broad Rafting have been running whitewater rafting trips on the river for over thirty years and have now expanded the adventure from the water to the trees. The company, now known as French Broad Rafting and Ziplines (FBRZ) is a local, family owned business run by Michael, Mitch and Korey Hampton.

Their business has come a long way in a short time. Six years ago a fire reduced their rafting outpost to a pile of ash. Everything was lost that day, but what was "found" in its' place was the overwhelming support of friends, family and the local community. Countless people were involved in helping this small company get back on it's feet. Now they are the largest rafting outfitter on the French Broad River, taking more than 12,000 people rafting and employing over 50 local people. With the expansion of the zipline business, FBRZ hopes to bring thousands more tourists to the area and is in the process of adding as many as 40 new employees to the payroll.

Zipline canopy tours originated in Costa Rica as a means of traversing the treetops to study the rainforest ecology but have recently gained popularity in the US as a means of traveling through the trees at high speeds purely for adventure's sake. The FBRZ course, which opened on April 20th, is on a 26 acre mountaintop with long range views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. It features ten unique ziplines ranging from 75-1000ft long, totaling over one mile of cable. It also includes rappels, short hikes and even a UTV ride up the mountain. Built by experts in the zipline field with state-of-the-art equipment and safety features, this course will make your eyes water and your pulse quicken as you soar past stunning mountain views.

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines now offers the closest raft and zip package to Asheville. For the avid outdoor enthusiast, whitewater rafting and ziplining in the same day (or on the same vacation) is the action-packed adventure of a lifetime. FBRZ offers rafting and zipline trips seven days a week. Get more information or book a trip online at

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