Maryland is known for its seafood, its horses, and its colonial history. But it also has incredible natural scenery. And sometimes that scenery is best observed by flying through the air…on a zip line.
The History of Zip Lines
Zip lining actually began centuries ago, perhaps in Ancient China, where people used zip lines to cross hazardous areas like rivers and mountain gorges. As these first zip lines were not consistently safe, they were eventually replaced by rope bridges. The first recorded use of a zip line for recreation or entertainment can be attributed to 1739 in England, where daring acrobat Robert Cadman descended from the high steeple of St. Mary’s Church in Shrewsbury, England—unsuccessfully, as the rope snapped.
In the 1970s, biologists began to use long zip lines as a way of moving through the upper levels of the rainforest canopy in order to study the flora and fauna of exotic places like Costa Rica. It was this particular use of the zip line that may have inspired a wave of entertainment-focused venues, which allow thrill seekers to zipline through forests or other fun landscapes. And while the image of cruising through the air is something we might often associate with a tropical place like Hawaii or Panama, there are also plenty of fun zip-lining opportunities closer to home. In fact, if zip lining is something you enjoy or would like to try out, there are plenty of places to go zip lining in Maryland.
Zip Line Safety Basics
Zip lining obviously has some safety concerns that need to be addressed, such as heights and speeds which could result in dangerous falls or collisions. Around 12% of zipline injuries can be serious, but to put some things in perspective, zipline injuries are also rare, especially at certified places with safety protocols. In fact, according to the Association for Challenge Course Technology or ACCT, the chance of a zipline breaking is actually one in a billion. With odds like that, you can rest assured that a zipline is a safe activity, especially if you listen to the rules. One rule, for instance, is to follow instructions to a tee, such as jumping only when told.
Keep in mind there may be some restrictions and limitations for zip lining. Age is one of them. There are kid-friendly zip line experiences, but some zip-line courses will have age requirements. Another is weight. Although it is a sensitive topic, you should call ahead or check the website of the facility you want to visit to make sure you meet these requirements. Lastly, there may be mental health considerations. If you are prone to panic attacks or have other health conditions such as heart problems, zip lining may be one activity where you should just be the designated driver (to and from the location) and on-the-ground cheerleader.
That said, for those who are ready to go Zip lining in MD, let’s find your local Maryland zipline.
Zip lines near Deep Creek Lake
A trip to western Maryland could involve some fun Ziplining in Deep Creek, MD. Flying Squirrel Canopy Tour is a combination zipline and obstacle course high up in the treetops, with 5 different ziplines that range from 180 to 400 feet in length. Once you’re in your helmet and safety harness you’ll scurry up a cargo net to brave the Burma Bridge and Plank Bridge. The tour concludes with a Leap of Faith from Guard’s Tower. Advanced reservations are required and there is a 250-pound weight limit, with a 70-pound minimum weight requirement. This zip line is part of the WISP Resort, which also includes two golf courses, pontoon boat tours, kayaking, and white-water rafting. There is also a mountain roller coaster, skiing in the winter, and family activities like gem mining.
Ziplining in Deep Creek also includes Monkey Business Adventure Park. This Maryland zipline park is actually the largest in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia). Although it is for visitors ages 7 and up, there is also a mini-monkey obstacle course for younger adventure seekers (aged 4 and up), which includes 19 obstacles and 4 ziplines. There are dual zip lines which are great for racing, in addition to a large aerial obstacle course with multiple tiers you can enjoy based on how much you’d like to challenge yourself.
Zip lines in and Around Baltimore
Zip lining in Savage, MD can be found at Terrapin Adventures. Conveniently located halfway between D.C. and Baltimore, this adventure park has a 43 foot tall climbing tower, a high ropes course with 19 challenges and 3 different levels of intensity, a giant swing, and a 330 foot zip line that will carry you through the trees. The weight limits are 60-275 pounds, and a 3 hour package can include all these fun activities. Terrapin Adventures also has group team building activities, party experiences, and a summer camp. Based on its location, the Terrapin zipline of Maryland is also a top choice for zip Lining in Baltimore.
But if you are looking for ziplining in Baltimore MD, another option is to head north toward Pennsylvania. River Valley Ranch (RVR) in Manchester is known for its horseback riding, but it also has an incredible 1500-foot zip line. With a length like that, some thrill-seekers might call it the best zipline in Maryland. There is also a low ropes course, a tree climbing grove, climbing towers, a giant swing, and a high ropes obstacle course. Additional fun activities include bubble ball, archery tag, paintball, and the Ninja Barn. School retreats and group retreats make up the majority of RVR customers, so contact them directly to see if they can facilitate a smaller group or have openings for individuals, couples, or families to enjoy these fun amenities.
Zip lines in Rockville, Olney, and Gaithersburg
Ziplining Rockville? With a name like Go Ape you know some exciting fun is in store. Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park in Rockville has 6 different treetop obstacle courses and zip lines, including a unique skateboard zipline. The longest zip line is over 400 feet. Among the 45 other fun obstacles are Tarzan swings, rope ladders, and a bungee jumping platform called the monkey drop. One popular program is the Forest Escape, an interactive teambuilding activity that combines outdoor obstacle course fun with escape room problem-solving. Based on Go Ape’s location it is also a great place for Ziplining in Gaithersburg MD.
Searching for a zipline in Olney, MD? Check out the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. This fun aerial park in the woods has 15 different course trails of varying difficulty for visitors 5 and up. Each trail has its own zip line and different bridges connecting the various platforms. One of the more memorable aspects of this zipline park in Maryland is its night climbing opportunities when the obstacle course is illuminated with a magical glow. Take note that this seasonal park is closed during the winter months but opens up again each March. Complement your climbing with some other activities like axe-throwing and a food truck.
Zip lines near Frederick
If you are looking for a zipline near Frederick, MD, take a look at Upward Enterprises in Adamstown. This obstacle course has over 80 elements in high and low settings. The zipline and canopy tour will let you take in some breathtaking scenery over three different, interconnected lines, creating a fantastic looping circuit. Add-on activities include the Static Tower, Giants Swing, and Leap of Faith. The several-hour program can be expanded into a longer 6-hour teambuilding session for a group outing. Qualified team members will help guide participants through exercises that build confidence and positive character, through some adrenaline-infused team-building activities.