Florida’s Adventure Courses, for the Body and Mind

    By Kevin Mims

    Imagine gliding over some of Florida’s most picturesque settings—winding rivers, lush forests, sweeping canyons—from high above. Adventure courses across Florida offer that and much more.

    Maybe you’re looking to spend the day with the family climbing to the treetops and swinging and zipping through the air. Or maybe you want to bring co-workers together for a day of team-building. Either way, adventure courses challenge both the mind and body with obstacles and confidence-building exercises for people of all ages.

    Not all of these adventure destinations are alike. Some will take you through the woods, some over water, and some will have you in the water wakeboarding or kiteboarding. You might find yourself in natural, park-like settings, hanging out above a zoo, or ready to tube down a snowy (yes, snowy) slope.

    Ready to take your Florida outdoors experience to new heights? Here are some of the state’s must-see adventure courses and destinations.

    NORTH FLORIDA

     

    1: Adventures Unlimited Zip Adventures, Milton

    It’s hard to imagine a more scenic setting for an aerial adventure than Coldwater Creek in Milton, where Adventures Unlimited offers an array of zip line courses to suit every need. Climb, walk the platforms and sky bridge, and glide through the air high above Coldwater and Wolf creeks. With its high bluffs, white sand bottoms, and clear, tea-colored water, Coldwater Creek is reason enough to take a trip to northwest Florida, so be sure to spend some time tubing or paddling the creek while you’re there.

    2: Tree to Tree, Tallahassee

    A thrilling escape for the family can be found within Florida’s capital city at Tree-To-Tree Adventures, one of the many attractions that make up the 52-acre Tallahassee Museum grounds. Its main adventure courses, which take visitors high above ground and into the treetops, last between 45 minutes and three hours and include up to 47 platforms, 25 obstacles, and 16 zip lines. For the younger kids, Tree-To-Tree offers an introductory obstacle course that’s lower to the ground but still includes platforms and a zip line.

    3: Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park, Ocala

    It’s easy to forget you’re in Florida while flying high over the steep canyon and blue-green waters of Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park in Ocala, about 25 miles south of Gainesville. The park’s cliffs give it a mountain-like feel and you can experience the view from 155 feet off the ground over more than 1,000 feet of zip line. After the adrenaline rush of the zip line course, relax with a wine or chocolate tasting or by kayaking or horseback riding through the scenic property. For an even bigger thrill, experience Canyons by moonlight with a 90-minute nighttime zip line tour, which takes participants over two sky bridges and five zip lines.

    4: Crocodile Crossing, St. Augustine

    As if zip line courses weren’t exciting enough by themselves, Crocodile Crossing at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park ratchets up the thrill factor with alligator-and crocodile-filled courses across seven acres of zoo property. The zoo’s two courses have 50 obstacles and allow participants to see tropical birds at tree level, glide over alligators and crocodiles, and get close to other exotic animals that call the zoo home.

    CENTRAL FLORIDA

    5. Seminole Aerial Adventures, Sanford

    Wildlife and adventure come together in Sanford at Central Florida Zoo, where Seminole Aerial Adventures takes ordinary zoo experiences to new heights. Visitors can choose from three courses: the kids’ course, which is for children 5 and up and lasts 45 minutes to an hour, the 90-minute upland course, and the 2.5-hour rainforest course.

    Glide through the treetops, navigate through 97 aerial challenges, and experience a 425-foot zip line at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park in Kissimmee.

    Glide through the treetops, navigate through 97 aerial challenges, and experience a 425-foot zip line at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park in Kissimmee.

    - VISIT ORLANDO

    6. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, Kissimmee

    Glide through the treetops, navigate through 97 aerial challenges, and experience a 425-foot zip line at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park in Kissimmee. There are courses for all skill levels and participants 6 years of age and older are welcomed to zip and adventure through the natural pine forest setting of the park. Zip and swing, climb 50-foot rope ladders, and even balance on hanging skateboards.

    7. Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland, Orlando

    A visit to Gatorland in Orlando isn’t truly complete without clipping into the park’s Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. Glide over the breeding marsh, which includes 130 alligators, at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and across distances from 230 to 500 feet. Get a bird’s-eye view of the park’s other inhabitants, such as Nile and Cuban crocodiles.

    WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA

    8. TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park, Dade City

    Stand among the treetops and explore the heights of the forest at TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park in Dade City. With its network of cables, ropes, platforms, and zip lines, TreeHoppers offers 100 unique elements over nine courses to suit all ages in a natural forest setting (there’s even a course for children as young as 1 year old). Reservations aren’t required, so it’s a perfect destination for a spontaneous day trip.

    Not all adventure courses happen in the woods. At The Lift Adventure Park in Hudson, north of Tarpon Springs, the fun happens on the water.

    Not all adventure courses happen in the woods. At The Lift Adventure Park in Hudson, north of Tarpon Springs, the fun happens on the water.

    - Florida's Sports Coast

    9. The Lift Adventure Park, Hudson

    Not all adventure courses happen in the woods. At The Lift Adventure Park in Hudson, north of Tarpon Springs, the fun happens on the water. Learn how to wakeboard on their cable system—no boats needed— climb through huge floating obstacles in the aqua park, and kayak or paddleboard the park’s spring-fed lake. Can’t get enough? The park offers summer camps for kids, monthly memberships, and season passes.

    10. Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park, Dade City

    If you think you can’t find snowy adventures in Florida, think again. At Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park, Florida’s first snow park, you can glide down a 400-foot-long, 60-foot-high snow-tubing hill, go inside the Arctic Igloo and build a snowman, or take a stroll through Alpine Village. The park has bunny slopes for youngsters and a music and light show at night.

    11. Empower Adventures Tampa Bay, Oldsmar

    Winding staircases leading to towering platforms, 3,000 feet of zip line, and a 200-foot suspension bridge are some of what await visitors at Empower Adventures in Oldsmar. In addition to adrenaline-filled adventures, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the surrounding natural areas of the 400-acre Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve. The park also hosts group activities, from birthday parties to corporate team-building events.

    12. TreeUmph! Adventure Course, Bradenton

    Nature lovers can gain a new perspective standing on the platforms of the tall pine trees of TreeUmph! Adventure Course in Bradenton. Incredible forest views coupled with zip lines and hundreds of aerial challenges—including wobbly bridges, floating logs, and climbing walls—make for an unforgettable, family-friendly experience. Choose from beginner to advanced courses, and even courses for children. For 7- and 8-year-olds, the 15-foot-high Ape Up course offers just the right amount of excitement and independence. The 14-acre park also offers annual passes and group rates.

    EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA

    13. Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure, Daytona Beach

    Over on the east coast, head to Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure, which is situated in Tuscawilla Park between the world-famous beaches of Daytona and the Daytona International Speedway. Choose from a variety of courses that take participants through the treetops and natural spaces of the park that include ten zip lines and more than 40 aerial games. Tuscawilla Park, which covers 80 acres, has picnic areas, playgrounds, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

    14. Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures, Cocoa Beach

    Cocoa might be best known for its beaches, but go just a little bit inland and you’ll find Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures, where the whole family can enjoy some time high above the ground in a canopy of pines, palms, and live oak trees. Suspended bridges, ropes features, and zip lines make up some of the park’s 49 unique challenges. Tickets include two hours of climbing and participants can choose the level of difficulty, from beginner to advanced. The park is located near some of the Space Coast’s biggest attractions and is just a 20-minute drive to Kennedy Space Center.

    15. Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures, Melbourne

    To zip-line on the wild side, head to Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne. Here, visitors can conquer courses and obstacles all while taking in the sights of the zoo and its inhabitants, including alligators, monkeys, and parrots, from above. Some of the unique elements you’ll find here include swinging logs and a high-wire bicycle. Glide over wetlands and lush forest on courses of varying degrees of difficulty, from beginner to expert. The park offers a Chutes & Ladders course for kids ages 4 to 8, which includes two zip lines and 22 elements.

    SOUTH FLORIDA

    16. Keys Cable, Marathon

    Whether you’re a seasoned wakeboarder or just starting out, Keys Cable at the northern tip of Marathon on Grassy Key, is the place to be for a day of saltwater fun. As the only saltwater cable park in North America, Keys Cable offers a unique opportunity for riders to experience wakeboarding in the warm, turquoise waters of the Florida Keys—all without the need for a boat that traditional wakeboarding requires. The park also offers kiteboarding, including a 90-minute kiteboarding course, and accommodates all skill levels.

    Places to Remember

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