Zipline Right Over Lake Keowee at Upstate Zipline

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If you love adventure or want to try something new for the whole family, Upstate Zipline near Greenville, SC offers that thrilling ride you’re looking for! We checked it out ourselves and have all the details on how to enjoy this new attraction in the Upstate, SC. 

Thank you to Upstate Zipline for hosting us so we could write this review. 

Have you ever wanted to zipline over water or speed through the trees for a half-mile while suspended a couple hundred feet in the air? I have! The brand new Upstate Zipline has you covered. In fact, it has the whole family covered as kids as young as three-years-old can zipline here. 

I did the entire course with my daughters, ages 12 and 8, and we all absolutely loved it. From registration to communication beforehand to check-in to the actual zipline tour, Upstate Zipline was a memorable and exciting experience, one I’m sure families will enjoy. 

About Upstate Zipline 

The Upstate’s newest zipline course is at Keowee-Toxaway State Park in the Upstate, about an hour from Greenville. It consists of 10 ziplines, including two where you zip over Lake Keowee. It’s even cooler than it sounds. 

Upstate Zipline is owned and run by Robert and Joanna Nickell, who have been constructing, inspecting, and imagining the adventures of ziplines for 27 years. They’ve moved all over the country as they have opened new zipline places but fell in love with the Greenville area and decided to relocate here and build a zipline course in 2021. 

Robert and Joanna were able to work with South Carolina State Parks to construct the current zipline course at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. If you’re familiar with the park, the location is across the street from where you would go to hike the Natural Bridge/Raven Rock Trail. 

There are picnic tables and bathroom facilities where Upstate Zipline is located. 

When the course was designed and constructed, it was done to preserve as much of the natural world as possible and not include clunky steel towers or anything that looks like it really doesn’t belong there. What you’ll notice most is how the course is built around the trees and natural topography – which is exactly the way it was designed. 

The Course

The course for Upstate Zipline is so cool. They have 10 lines, including one that is more than 250 feet off the ground and one that is a half-mile long. You don’t zip across any of the lines twice so all the scenery is new. 

There are two guides on your tour (special shoutout to Preston and Hayle, who were amazing), one that receives you on the other end of the line and another guide who sends you off. 

The first four lines are right near the building where you check in and aren’t too high off the ground or long, which is perfect for giving guests a feel for how ziplining works, how to brake properly, and how to watch for the cues from the guides on when to slow down or let your hand off the brake. This will be important later on in the course. 

Then comes the really fun part. You’ll zip to a platform, cross a suspension bridge and head right to the half-mile-long zip line. I couldn’t see the other side of it and felt just a tad nervous. But once I got up there and started zipping through the air, it was the coolest feeling. You’re so high and going so fast and it’s just a really neat, freeing feeling. 

After that zipline, you get to go on the fastest line in the course so pay attention to your guide and when he/she tells you to brake. It’s easy, don’t worry. 

The last two lines are right over Lake Keowee. I’ve ziplined in several places but never over water and it was so incredible. The area where you zipline over is a private cove so you don’t need to worry about boats below and you won’t go anywhere near touching the water (although that would be fun!). 

Once you zip through the last line, you’ll be brought back to the headquarters of Upstate Zipline in a little bus, about a three-minute drive. 

All in all, it took us just over two hours to complete the course. We had about eight people in our group so it may be shorter if you have fewer since the guides need to clip and unclip everyone about a hundred times throughout the course (it may be less but it seemed like a hundred times – safety is of utmost importance). 

Safety at Upstate Zipline 

Speaking of safety, that is of utmost importance to Upstate Zipline, high above everything else, pun intended. Guides are extensively trained by Universal Zipline Technology, the leader in the zipline industry, on how to use the zipline ropes and clips and what to do in cases of emergency. 

The entire zipline course is inspected daily and Robert and Joanna have 27 years of experience in this industry. They also travel and inspect other zipline courses throughout the country, including some we’ve written about at Kidding Around. 

Our guides were laser-focused on safety our entire trip. They must have rechecked our gear a dozen times and gave us instructions multiple times as well on how to best enjoy the course safely. They were both really fun to be around with great personalities but it was more than obvious they were paying close attention to us the entire time. 

Requirements for Guests

Upstate Zipline is the only zipline place I’ve been to that allows kids as young as three-years-old to participate. They make it safe for these kids because they pair them with a guide for the longer zip lines. The reason most zipline places don’t allow kids this young to go is because they would never make it across the zipline because they don’t weigh enough. By pairing them with a guide, the kids can enjoy the course, making it a true family adventure! 

My youngest child is eight-years-old and hardly weighs anything so for half of the course, Preston went with her on those ziplines. She had a blast and I was comforted knowing that my daughter was in good hands. 

The other important rule is that for participants that are 5′ 6″ and shorter, they must be 250 pounds or under. Participants that are 5′ 7″ and taller must be 275 lbs or under. 

When you check in, you will be weighed (this is absolutely common practice on all zipline and ropes courses). 

When you book your zipline adventure, please make note of all of these requirements before purchasing your slot. 

Full Moon Tours 

We did a daytime tour but Upstate Zipline does offer Full Moon zipline tours for the truly adventurous among us. You’ll do the course by moonlight with headlamps and then you get s’mores and a campfire afterward. This would be such a fun adventure, especially if you’re camping nearby. 

Guests who do the Full Moon tour must be 8 years old and advanced reservations are recommended.

Tips on Enjoying Your Zipline Tour

After doing the entire zipline course, we have a few tips:

  • Bring water. It gets warm out there and having water is key. 
  • You have to wear shoes that won’t fall off so basically no flip-flops. 
  • Wear sunscreen. When the leaves are off the trees especially, you’ll be waiting in the sun on the platforms. 
  • Go to the bathroom before you go on our tour. You can’t get out of your harness to make a bathroom stop during the tour. There are bathrooms where you check-in. 
  • Follow the rules and get there a half hour before your tour so you have the time you need to get geared up and go through all the safety instructions. 
  • Book now for the fall. I can’t even imagine how incredible this course will be come October when the leaves change. It’s going to be awesome.

Booking Your Adventure

You can book directly online with Upstate Zipline through their Upstate Zipline website. They do offer group discounts and be sure to sign up for their newsletter and follow them on social media to keep updated on the latest news and discounts. 

The zipline tour is $89/person and the Full Moon Tour is $99/person. 

Upstate Zipline
138 Museum Circle, Sunset, SC
Upstate Zipline Website
Upstate Zipline Facebook

For other places to zipline in our region, see our Ziplining in the Southeast story.

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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