Review of: Zip Nac Ziplining in Nacogdoches
by Stacy Curtis
Zipping around is fun for the family!
Did you ever think you'd get your kids (or yourself for that matter) to zip through pines and oaks on a 900 foot zipline? How about at night? If that sounds a bit scary never fear - Zip Nac is here!
Our family visited Zip Nac and Zip Inn when we made the short trip to Nacogdoches for the Texas Blueberry Festival. Zip Nac is a six-line ziplining facility on a gorgeous 75-acre stretch of East Texas pines and hardwoods. Susan and Larry have made a masterpiece of the homestead Susan grew up on.
Zip Nac is a short 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive from Houston. When we started out, there was a marked lack of enthusiasm from the back of the car. Did that change over the course of the evening? Read on to find out...
Read my reviews of Zip Inn and Texas Blueberry Festival here, or from the Nacogdoches page here.
We chose to do night ziplining, so we arrived around 8pm for the preparation. We were to plan on around two hours for the entire zip experience. Looking up at the first tower at dusk was a little daunting, but ground school prepared us completely.
Now, How Do You Do It Exactly?
Zipping isn't complicated. Leave everything to the Zip Nac certified professionals and you'll do fine. The great thing about Zip Nac is that they have a ground school where everyone (chickens included) can understand how safe and secure it really is and practice on a zipline low to the ground.
First, though, you have get geared up. That includes making sure you have closed toe shoes and longer shorts or pants. Long hair should be in a low pony tail. Once the certified guides cinch you into a harness, you're ready for ground school.
The ground school was much more than just a practice zip. Both my kids (12 and 14 at the time) were quite fearful. Ground school convinced all of us it was safe. The guides were explicit in relating to us that Zip Nac goes far beyond the safety standards.
How About The Kids?
Yeah, that was my big question too. Is ziplining really for kids? There are no age restrictions, but anyone under 18 must have a parent signature on the waiver. According to Larry, they've had kids as young as 4 years old zipline safely and happily.
The minimum weight to ride alone is 60 pounds, so for younger children tandem zipping is available. It's also available for those over 60 pounds but who need the extra security. Our guide was nice enough to tandem zip with my 12-year-old on the first line, then she was fine after that. It's that first plunge that's the toughest.
Fear of Zipping
The biggest fear is jumping off and falling, right? So let's talk about how safe Zip Nac makes this adventure. Not only is Zip Nac certified by the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), they go far beyond their safety standards. For instance, Zip Nac cables are double the thickness PLUS there are two of them! The double-extra-thick cable system is a bit over the top, but is sure to calm even the most doubtful.
If that wasn't enough, Zip Nac also has ACCT come out every year to certify the safety of their course and every individual guide. They are not only trained in safety, they help talk people through their fears as well. I saw this with both of my kids. Our guides were so encouraging and positive that even though it took a bit to get them to take the first step off (OK, it took them quite a while), they both ended up having a great time and were very glad they did it.
I liked that we were tethered to the structure or the zip line at every moment we were up in the air. Whether you were getting ready to zip, on the zip, or just ended one, you were clipped on to something more solid than Tarzan himself.
The Night Ziplining Experience
Zipping at night actually gave us an advantage. Although we climbed all those flights of stairs and knew how high it was, we didn't really see below because it was so dark. All we saw was the silver glint of the zip line plunging into the darkness. We could hear the forward guide giving the "all clear" but could barely see him. It was truly a thrill to fly through the air at night. The skybridge (right) as well as the trees and towers are lit by rows of light rope which made for spectacular experience.
Larry and Susan recommend doing both day time and night time ziplining. That way you can experience the thrill of ziplining at night, plus see exactly what you're zipping over during the day time.
What Else Do They Have?
Zip Nac has a climbing wall as well and they have plans to add more zip lines on back acreage later on. Zip Inn is their on-site B&B, so you can zip day and night, then pamper yourself.
Zip Nac would be a fabulous birthday venue and they have birthday party packages available. It would also be great for your scout or church youth group, ladies night, mens retreats, or any group you can think of.
Guess what? We got the t-shirt too! Fresh pressed from Susan and Larry's other business!
Tell Me More About Susan and Larry!
Susan, Larry, and the whole crew are the nicest people you'll ever meet. Susan grew up on the property and can tell lots of stories about it. They feel blessed to be able to host thousands of people and help them overcome their fear. In 2010 Larry took Susan for her first zip line experience on her birthday. They fell in love with it and came back to make plans. After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, Zip Nac was born.