Fayetteville, N.C. — People will soon be able to zip through tree tops, high over mountain laurel and a waterfall – in Fayetteville.
Private land off Ramsey Street that surrounds Carver's Falls will open to the public next month as the ZipQuest Waterfall and Treetop Adventure.
Callan Bryan's family has owned the site since 1963, and the area has been open only to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for camping trips.
The waterfall, at the confluence of Carver's Creek and McPherson Creek, is a geologic quirk. Its 20-foot cascade amid laurel and cypress trees, loblolly pines and old-growth oaks is the tallest between the coast and foothills.
"The waterfall is not supposed to be here, especially in the Sandhills, but it's here," Bryan said.
The family decided to create a zip-line course through the property to make its natural beauty accessible to others, he said.
"This is a way to showcase the beautiful waterfall and the natural environment in a way that people can appreciate it and not tear the place up," he said. “Rather than cutting trees down, they will punch a hole through the canopy for a much better experience and less impact on the forest."
S.T.E.P.S. Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company that develops adventure programs, designed the course of eight zip lines across 13 platforms that takes more than two hours to complete. For $79, participants can get hooked up to a harness and go flying over the waterfall and three suspension bridges and through a canopy of trees at up to 35 mph.
"It's exhilarating," said Joel Hoffman, one of the course designers. "I mean, you have trees whipping by you, and you're coming down this long tunnel that's been punched in the canopy."
Hoffman said the zip line becomes more interesting as participants go along. "The zip becomes a bit faster," he said.