Banning Mills: Your Guide to the Best Zip Lining in Georgia and More

If you’re looking for some of the best ziplining in Georgia, look no further than Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg, GA, about 45 minutes west of Atlanta. After all, Banning Mills holds the Guinness World Records for the longest zip line canopy tour and tallest free-standing rock wall in the world!

At this amazing adventure resort, you’ll find more than 60 lines and 46 sky bridges.  It’s classic adventure!

HISTORIC BANNING MILLS

Banning Mills: Your Guide to the Best Zip Lining in Georgia and More
Photo courtesy of Banning Mills.

Historic Banning Mills Retreat and Conservation Center, conveniently located 45 minutes west of Atlanta in Whitesburg, Georgia, offers 300 acres of pristine natural beauty. This one-of-a-kind adventure park and resort is brimming with activities for all family members to enjoy.

Their adventure options include zip lining, aerial adventures, kayaking, Eco-Spider ATV tours, hiking trails with suspension bridges, horseback riding, summer camps, team building, meeting spaces, birds of prey nature shows, and special events. They also offer treehouses, cabins, and inn rooms.

BANNING MILLS ZIP LINES

Banning Mills Zip Line

Banning Mills is well-known for their amazing zipline and canopy tours. As mentioned above, they actually hold the world record for the world’s longest zip line canopy tour! Experience 10 miles of scenery intertwined through 300 wooded acres giving you the ultimate birds-eye view.

At Historic Banning Mills, you will find 4 levels of zip lines, each one increasing in length, speed, and height. Each level builds on the one before. While you’re out on a tour, you’re welcome to upgrade to the next level if time allows and you meet the requirements. I’m telling you that now, because I believe that once you start experiencing this adventure, you won’t want it to end!

In addition to the ziplines, you can also add on certain options to your experience. Depending on your zip line tour level, you can add on the Power Free-Fall, Amazing Flight of the Falcon, Ridge Runner, or Terminator Corner. We’ll get into those choices more below.

And here’s a really cool thing: All zip line tours include FREE pictures! I mean, if you’re going to do this crazy adventure, you need proof.

ZIPLINE RESTRICTIONS

Children must be at least eight years old and 50 pounds for the Level One tour, which was designed with families in mind. You must be at least 90 pounds for all other tours. There is a maximum weight limit of 250 for women and 285 for men for all the zip line levels. Participants must also be able to climb two 65 ft towers and possibly a 150 ft tower.  Did I mention these tours aren’t for the faint of heart? (See below for options for your younger kiddos!)

If you’re still reading, then I’m guessing you’ll love the thrills at Banning Mills…I know I did. After a brief ground school, we set off across a skybridge to our first tower. All zip lines at Banning Mills start and end at the Retreat and Conference Center. A nice touch when you’ve been climbing, swinging and exerting yourself all day.

HISTORIC BANNING MILLS ZIPLINE LEVELS

  • Level 1. Enjoy 9 zip lines, one or two Sky bridges and a cool tower. This one is perfect for younger families because the minimum weight limit is only 50 lbs, and the minimum age is 8. Time: 1-1.5 hours
  • Level 2. (Includes Level 1 before moving on to Level 2.) You will start to get a bit more extreme on this course, flying over 900 and 1,000 foot-long ziplines as you go down a line 200 feet high above Snake Creek Gorge. You will experience a total of 12 zip lines and up to 10 sky bridges, crossing the Lost Gorge two times. Minimum age: 10yo; Time: 1.5-2.5 hours
  • Level 3. (Includes Levels 1 & 2.) At 1500 feet long, you can soar at speeds up to 55 to 60 mph. End the tour at another high speed, 900-foot-long Swoop line that takes you along the beautiful Snake Creek. Min age: 10; Time: 2.5-3.5 hours
  • Level 4. (Includes Levels 1, 2 & 3.) So, this Level truly has it all! Take the ultimate trek on Sky Trek, a 600-foot-long monster suspension bridge over 100 feet above the creek. Ride the 1000-foot-long Predator zip line back across the creek and begin your climb up our 100-foot-tall tower to soar down Screaming Eagle (which can reach 75mph)! This is for the ultimate adventurer. Min age: 10; Time: 3.5-4 hours

ADD-ON: FLIGHT OF THE FALCON

Flight of the Falcon can be added onto Level Three or Level Four only. Participants must be at least 10 years old.

Fly like superman for 3400 ft, parallel to Snake Creek Gorge. Then traverse another five zip lines and two sky bridges. You’ll pass over and under many other areas of the zip line and aerial adventure course, giving you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area!

Banning Mills zip line adventure offers the highest timber-pole tower, the height of a 30-story building, with the Flight of the Falcon zip line, sweeping into the gorge, flying over treetops, and Snake Creek at 60 miles per hour.

OTHER ADD-ONS

  • Ridge Runner Tour (Level 3 or 4 only). Take on our Screaming Eagle Ridge Runner zip line, one of their three half-mile long zip lines. Plus 3 more long and scenic zip lines and canopy walks.
  • Power Free Fall (Levels 2, 3 or 4 only). Climb 100 feet up their adventure tower… and take a step off! It’s not a bungee jump, but a controlled (fast) fall that lands you safely at the bottom. I was so scared to do this, but ended up really loving it! It wasn’t a jerky stop at all…just a drop and then glide to the bottom.
  • Terminator Corner (Levels 2, 3 and 4 only). This add-on is an extreme aerial adventure course.  You’ll find 12 extreme challenge elements, up to 80 feet off the ground. This one must be booked by phone.

BEGINNER COURSES AT BANNING MILLS ZIP LINE GEORGIA

The Forest Tour and Woodland Tour are level one courses and are made for first-time zippers and families. There are nine zip lines, one or two Sky bridges, and a cool tower. The Forest tour and Woodland tour are designed with families in mind. As mentioned previously, the minimum age is 8 and minimum weight is 50 lbs.

The Level 1 course is a great way to get used to the height and zipping. A few of the later zips require braking, and guides are always available to help. Even this tour requires lots of stair climbing, and a basic fitness level is needed to enjoy the adventure. For veteran zippers, this is a tame course, the real fun comes at the higher levels. If your family has mastered this course and doesn’t want to quit, you can upgrade on the spot to the next level.

ADVANCED COURSES AT BANNING MILLS ZIP LINE GEORGIA

As you move up the levels, the length of the zips and the height increases. What I like best is the addition of sky bridge obstacles that require more exertion than just riding down a screaming zip line. Each level includes the previous tours, so Level Three includes the elements of Levels One and Two.

Children must be at least 10 years old and 90 lbs to attempt courses two and up. If older children want to move on, there are other activities for younger kids, including a Birds of Prey Show, hiking, and horseback riding. (Note: Plan ahead for these activities. The Birds of Prey show is usually in the morning, and horseback riding must be reserved.)

The Level Four tour is the most exciting and includes all the previous courses (excluding the 900 Feet Swoop line along the Snake Creek Gorge). The Sky Trek Bridge is one of my favorite elements. It’s 600 feet long, and 190 feet high over the gorge, with fantastic views of the river below. This tour also includes climbing the equivalent of a 30-story building then stepping off to zip down the Screaming Eagle zip line for half a mile.

For true adrenaline junkies, Banning Mills offers the All Day Rush, allowing guests to climb and zip for 8 hours straight. Lunch is included as is the Aerial Adventure Challenge Park.

AERIAL ADVENTURE CHALLENGE PARK AT HISTORIC BANNING MILLS (A ZIP ADD ON)

The Aerial Adventure Challenge is a zip into a series of extreme challenge elements 80 ft in the air. This park can be added to the level two and up courses. I truly enjoyed the addition of the rope challenges to break up the zip experiences. The elements weren’t always easy, in one there is a tree running right through the middle of the path, but it lots of fun to push yourself in different ways.

MORE THAN ZIP LINES

Banning Mills - More than just zip lines.

HIKING, KAYAKING, HORSEBACK RIDING AND MORE!

Historic Banning Mills is a non-profit retreat and conservation center. Ask the kids what their second favorite adventure was at Historic Banning Mills, and they will tell you the pool…or the suspension bridge…or hiking to the ruins. The point is, the zip line is THRILLING but there is more to do than zip.

With close to 250 acres of scenic hiking and nature trails for guests to enjoy, Banning Mills’ private trail system allows a special experience to become one with nature. Hike along Snake Creek, explore the ruins of the paper mill or walk on a water raceway.

Hop on horseback and trot the trails to take in the various views of the beautiful area.

If you prefer the view from above, experience the one-of-a-kind Bridges of Banning. At Banning Mills, trek the miles and miles of trails in the treetops with an entire eco tour experience in the sky. The many unique bridges around Banning and exceed 700 feet in length and make for a great way to experience stunning views.   

Try swimming in the full size pool, playing horseshoes or trying for a hole-in-one at mini golf. If your littles love falcons, then be sure to plan your adventure during the Birds of Prey show.

There is a 7-mile and 14-mile kayak trip along the Chattahoochee looked amazing! Children can be 5 years old to ride in a tandem kayak with an adult, or 10 years old to ride in a single kayak.

ECO SPIDER ATV TOURS

Tackle tough, off-road terrain and head over bridges and through the woods with the new extreme Eco-Spider ATV tours. The Eco-Spider by Swin Car is a powerful and rugged four-wheeled electric vehicle that combines high performance and great driving sensation. The ATVs are a great and adventurous way for those with limited mobility to get out and about to explore the great outdoors.  

CAN I TAKE MY YOUNGER KIDS?

But let’s be honest for a moment…will this sort of vacation really work with young kids? YES! We did it, and here are three reasons why we think you should, too!

CRAZY SQUIRREL VILLAGE

Crazy Squirrel Village introduces kids 4+ years old to zip lining. This was my son’s first time, and I could not have asked for anything better. Honestly, seeing him grow in confidence and excitement on this course was my favorite part of the entire weekend.

Atlanta offers a number of ropes courses for kids, but this was true zip lining. With gloves, helmet and gear, he was anchored into the closed belay system. (Side note– this is the same belay system used on Screaming Eagle. It’s the only zip line tour with this safety feature from beginning to end.)

For Tier One,  kids will experience 5 zip lines and 9 aerial elements with heights ranging from 4 to 20 feet off the ground.

We followed a guide through the course of 5 zip lines and 6 aerial elements; first Cooper and then me. After we completed the Level 1 course (about 45 minutes), the guide jumped off and Cooper and I did it again ourselves, with me in the lead this time, to catch him at the end of each zip. The guide was around while we went a second time, but it was very exciting to be running through at our own pace, together.

I just loved the look on Cooper’s face when he finished! He was so happy! Even if you can’t make a vacation out of Banning Mills, it’s worth a drive for the day just to let the young ones try the Crazy Squirrel.

Kids 9 years old or older can enjoy Tier Two. The second tier features 38 different aerial elements, including zip lines and unique aerial challenges with heights ranging from 15 to 60 feet off the ground. This tier is split into two sections, allowing a break in the middle for water.

LODGES, CABINS AND TREEHOUSES

Banning Mills Treehouses

There are several lodging options on-site. The Lodge offers 52 rooms, including Creekside Overlook rooms, Pine Log Cabin rooms, and Economy Lodge Rooms. They are all nice, of course, but for families, I recommend the Cozy Efficiency Cottages or the Full-Size Rustic Cabins.

We stayed in a full size cabin, which also included a full kitchen, four beds, two bathrooms and plenty of space to spread out. It overlooked Snake Creek, with easy access to the suspension bridge leading to the main building.

Many, but not all lodging options, come with a full hot breakfast. It was delicious- scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt, biscuits, muffins and more. It’s served in the main building and is lovely to eat while watching people prepare to take their turn on the zip line.

There isn’t a walk-in restaurant here, but you can a picnic-style basket or enjoy hot dogs in the lodge for lunch. For dinner, you can “tag on” to a group dinner buffet if you inquire about it ahead of time. We enjoyed delicious BBQ chicken from the on-site chef.

Along with the cabins, cottages, and inn rooms that are available, Banning Mills offers an accommodation option above all else – Tree House rooms. Book one of the 14 Tree House rooms to continue the aerial adventure and enjoy a balcony in the treetops, rope bridge access, and views that overlook the beautiful gorge below at this cozy rendition of the Swiss Family Robinson’s rooms. The soft sway of the trees completes the unique accommodation experience.

We had such a fun weekend! I recommend you make it a priority.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR GEORGIA ADVENTURE

Follow us here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard

All articles belong to 365 Atlanta Family LLC, and all photos belong to us as well, unless otherwise noted. It’s all copyrighted. Please don’t repost anything elsewhere without asking me first. All rights reserved. This site uses cookies to enhance your experience.

We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.

Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.

United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC

View our Privacy Policy | Subscribe to our Newsletter | Contact Site Owner | View Terms & Conditions | About Us

Banning Mills: Your Guide to the Best Zip Lining in Georgia and More