From the Appalachian Trail to Savannah and everything in between, the state of Georgia is jam packed with travel and tourism opportunities to delight every type of traveller! Shopping, Night Life, Beaches, Mountains, Entertainment, and Food are just a few of the many exciting experiences visitors and locals have come to love about Georgia. In 2018 Georgia welcomed 111.67 million visitors, a record for the peach state!
For those daring adventurers, thrill seekers, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts Georgia holds a plethora of exciting opportunities. From the gorgeous views and expansive trails of Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County, to our very own “little Grand Canyon” at Providence Canyon State Park in Stewart County, and all across the state, opportunities to leap into the outdoors, enjoy a little adventure, and step outside of your comfort zone are never very far away. Those looking for the ultimate in outdoor adventure will find just what they’re looking for in our great state! Roughly 45 minutes West of Atlanta, the world’s largest zip line course and free standing climbing wall stand as one of the states hidden treasures for those seeking out of this world adventures! At Historic Banning Mills adventurers of all experience levels can find the perfect level of thrill.
Historic Banning Mills gets its name from the rich history you’ll find all over the nearly 300 acres of property in and around the Snake Creek Gorge. Once a bustling mill town complete with dams, spill ways, textile mills, pulp mills, and more, the ruins from the old town of Banning can still be seen along the trails today! Banning Mills was the first location in the state of Georgia to have electricity and was also immensely instrumental in the invention of paper manufacturing as we use it today. Prior to Banning’s use of pine wood pulp in paper manufacturing, rags and cloth were used to create paper. One of the most astounding aspects of these mill locations was the construction and location itself. Located deep within a gorge in order to utilize the rushing water of Snake Creek, the mills at Banning are situated on steep terrain which would have made accessibility a challenge for the carts and wagons used to transport materials during this time. These challenges aside, Banning Mills remained the top producer and exporter of textile materials in the state for many years! Fast forward many years, and Historic Banning Mills became known for a completely different reason, it’s world class adventure opportunities!
Banning Mills has tons of exciting outdoor activities, but none are quite as well known as their zip lines. Historic Banning Mills isn’t just some zip line course with a few lines for guests to try out. They hold the Guinness World Record for the largest zip line course on the planet by over double the second largest! Just how big is this zip line course? Historic Banning Mills has over 100 different zip lines which combined make up nearly 11 miles of cable! Want to check them all out? I hope you have at least two full days free, because that’s how long it takes to ride every line at least once!
Historic Banning Mills structures their zip line courses into levels to allow guests to choose their level of extreme. Everyone starts out on level one, which features 9 zip lines and helps to get everyone comfortable with the feeling of zip lines. After completing level one, guests have the opportunity to upgrade and continue the fun through tons of different courses that each feature unique views and exciting zip lines, suspension bridges, and other aerial elements.
Flight of the Falcon is widely considered the most unique zip line experience at Banning Mills. The 3,400 foot long zip line takes off from the top of the nearly 150 foot tall Adventure Tower and has the guests ride superman style on their stomachs. Flight of the Falcon crosses the Snake Creek Gorge 3 times as guests soar at nearly 50MPH past the main lodge and over and under several other sections of the course.
Think that sounds extreme? Historic Banning Mills also has 3 zip lines named Screaming Eagle, which are 2,600 feet long each and reach speeds of nearly 75MPH! Screaming Eagle can be found on the level 4 zip line course or on the “Ridge Runner” tour add on.
Prefer to keep your feet firmly planted to the ground? Zip lines aren’t the only way you can experience the gorgeous views of the Snake Creek Gorge. Historic Banning Mills recently expanded the trail system to now include more than 15 miles of hiking trails! Along the trails you’ll uncover the history of Banning Mills with historic sites around every corner! The trails feature suspension bridges to help navigate the gorge and several lakes! The suspension bridges you’ll discover along our trails vary drastically in size and height above the ground. Some help cross small sections of terrain, and others span the entire gorge and are over 600 feet long and nearly 200 feet off the ground! These are some of the largest suspension bridges in the United States!
Adventures on the water more your speed? 7-mile kayaking tours are fun for the whole family! Kayaking Tours at Banning Mills include pick up and drop off from the main lodge and take place on a beautiful stretch of the Chattahoochee River! Rapids very rarely go past class 1, so the tours are generally easy and relaxing for the whole family! Along the way, your guide will share with you the rich history of the area, including information about Chief William McIntosh and the Native Americans who used to call this area home!
Horseback riding is a unique and exciting way to connect with nature and explore the Snake Creek Gorge! Ready to saddle up and have some fun? The horseback tours are a great way to experience the gorge and take in the natural scenery while discovering some of the historic mill sites situated along the trails.
Extend the fun and spend the night! Banning Mills is a fully function bed & breakfast style resort with chefs on staff eager to delight your taste buds morning, noon, and night! There’s an array of different room styles to choose from including tree houses, pine log cabins, creekside overlook rooms, and family cabins to name a few! The tree houses feature their very own personal suspension bridges which you cross to reach the front door. Imagine gently swaying to sleep in a king sized bed with the sounds of nature right outside your very own back porch overlooking the gorge! Need a bit more room? The family cabins can sleep up to eight and provide a secluded wilderness experience for you and your family. Banning Mills even offers packages to include adventures and a stay!
Are you a part of a team? Schools, businesses, military, and more come to Banning Mills to strengthen their skills working together. Team Building at Banning Mills focuses on critical thinking, listening, adapting, communication, leadership, planning, problem solving, and so much more! Our Team Building Facilitators are world class professionals when it comes to building core skills essential to improving a groups efficiency, communication, and teamwork. Every team build is custom tailored to meet the needs of your group. During a morning meeting before the team build, our facilitators get to know your group and discuss with your team leader areas your group would like to focus on. We then design a program customized to build on those core skills and debrief each activity with take aways and lessons from your groups experience.
Every team build at Banning Mills is completely different, but each is designed to develop personal and professional skills that can be implemented in every aspect of life. The team building programs at Historic Banning Mills have helped NASA, Coca-Cola, and the Military work on communication and problem solving skills, husbands and wives work on communication, and high school seniors learn how to work more efficiently with peers, just to name a few.
There’s a variety of different styles of team building programs available for groups to participate in. Traditional team building is offered in both half and whole day time periods, as well as our GPS team building initiatives, which send groups out around the property in search of activities, which they must complete before moving on to the next challenge.
This summer will be our 5th year of summer camp and we couldn’t be more excited! Historic Banning Mills offers two summer day camps for kids. Camp Adventure (ages 8-13) and Camp Extreme (ages 13-16) are week long day camps that bring kids into the outdoors and provide an opportunity for exploration and adventure like no other summer camp you’ve ever seen! Campers experience the worlds largest zip line course, aerial challenge courses, four climbing walls, including the worlds tallest climbing wall, horseback riding, archery, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, hiking, wildlife shows, free falls, and so much more!