A new outdoor attraction will soon let nature lovers and thrill seekers experience the cypress swamp from a bird’s eye view.
Zip NOLA, the region’s first swamp zip line, is set to open near the New Orleans area in LaPlace this fall.
The unique zip line experience will tower 60 feet over the Maurepas Swamp on the shoreline of Lake Ponchartrain. The course will feature five separate zip lines spanning from 275 to 400 feet, two suspension bridges and a spiral tree staircase.
Co-owner Tyler Richardson said the new state-of-the-art facility aims to combine thrill and nature in a safe and environmentally-friendly setting. Richardson said the experience will also cater to adventure-seekers of all ages.
“Each of our zip line platforms, with exception of the start platform, will be nestled atop several hundred year old moss covered cypress trees,” Richardson said.
As visitors traverse the course, they will get immersed in breathtaking scenery. The course will also educate riders on the swamp ecosystem, as well as the rich history of the town of Frenier and its folklore.
For those unable or unwilling to ride, an observation deck overlooks the swamp.
Richardson said he developed the concept for Zip NOLA, with his business partner Barry Gros Jr., after years of running his own swamp tour business.
“I couldn’t shake the idea in my head that New Orleans needed a more exciting and less invasive way to view its beautiful swamps,” Richardson said.
Richardson decided to adapt the idea of zip lines popularized by rain forest destinations.
“In my eyes, the swamps surrounding New Orleans are equally if not greater in beauty, so what better way to enjoy their beauty than from the tops of their 100 year old cypress trees,” Richardson said.
Similar to a traditional swamp tour, guests will also see animals like alligators, turtles, waterfowl, wild boar and whitetail deer while riding the zip line.
Zip NOLA released renderings via its website giving a three-dimensional look into what the attraction will look like when it opens this fall.
Richardson said the course was designed with safety as a top priority. The course utilizes state-of-the-art technology, with two safety braking apparatuses, Richardson said.
In addition, each guide will require certification in the industry’s top safety protocols, as well as continuing education to remain up to industry standards, according to Richardson.
Construction for the new attraction is underway at Peavine Road in LaPlace, near Old U.S. Highway 51. Richardson says he’s hopeful to open in the new attraction in November 2020, barring any setbacks.
Upon opening, Zip NOLA will have seasonal hours of operation, taking in account daylight fluctuations.
Tours are projected to last one hour and 30 minutes. Each tour will have a max of 12 riders, with one rider per line at any given time.
Richardson said each tour will also have two local guides to supervise the course, adhere to safety protocols and educate guests.
Snacks and beverages will be available alongside a fully stocked gift shop with a plethora of local souvenirs.
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