Gatlinburg Ziplines ReservationCall us at 865-453-8644

The Ultimate Guide to How Ziplines Work

Woman zipliningAnyone can see that our ziplines in Pigeon Forge are a ton of fun. But do you know how they work? Ziplines are made from many different parts, each one with an important job to do. Read on for a behind the scenes look at how these parts work together to create your zipline experience.

(See Related: Do You Know The History of Ziplines?)


Your “seat” during your zipline adventure is a harness secured around your waist and crotch. Adventure Park uses two of the top harness brands in the industry: Petzl and Adjama. These top of the line harnesses have been used for cave exploring, ice climbing, and search and rescue teams. Petzl and Ajama harnesses have become a favorite worldwide because they are made from synthetic fiber 15 times stronger than steel!


The zipline cables are the long wires, suspended 65 feet off the ground, that reach from one tower to another. The industry standard calls for cables that are ⅜ inches thick, but we opted for even stronger ½ inch cables. Our ziplines are actually made with galvanized aircraft cables: the same type of cables used to bring jets to a sudden stop on aircraft carriers! If you want a closer look at our zipline cables, check out the photos on our Facebook page.


The  trolley (also known as a pulley) is a wheel on an axle connected to the zipline cable. The trolley travels along the zipline cable and pulls the harness along with it. At Adventure Park, we use a very secure double pulley system with both a top trolley and a bottom trolley. It’s the trolley that lets you fly down the line at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour!

Lanyard and Belay

The lanyard is a strip of nylon webbing that hangs from the bottom trolley and supports the harness. In addition to the lanyard, there is another safety line called the belay that links the harness to the top trolley. Having two lines is known as a “redundant system”, and it is the key to making your zipline experience even safer.


Carabiners are a super strong metal clip used to connect your harness to the lanyard/belay and the lanyard/belay to the zipline trolley. These spring loaded aluminum and steel loops can support 5,000 pounds of weight. That’s the size of a small car!

Now is the perfect time to book your next zipline adventure. Our ziplines in Pigeon Forge are now open seven days a week, just time for spring break! To schedule your zipline tour, visit our Reservations page or give us a call at 865-453-8644!

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