Adventure and alligators await visitors at Zip NOLA in Laplace, Louisiana. Riders experience the famed Maurepas Swamp as they traverse a half-mile course through the bayou from a bird’s-eye view. The experience includes five zip lines, two suspension bridges, and a beautiful one-of-a-kind spiral staircase that will take visitors right into the cypress canopy.
“From the moment guests arrive, they are fully immersed in the swamp atmosphere—from the beautiful flowering plants to alligators coming right up to the elevated porch,” says Tyler Richardson, co-owner of Zip NOLA.
Once outfitted with safety gear and a briefing, guests and their guides ascend the massive 60-foot tower high above the Swamp Deck pavilion. The climb is well worth it; riders are treated to panoramic views of Maurepas Swamp, the historic village of Frenier, Lake Pontchartrain, and even the New Orleans skyline. The inaugural zip is known as “The Takeoff” and starts visitors on a fun and informative 90-minute experience.
“The experience operates similar to a swamp tour in that the guide will point out all sorts of wildlife along the way,” Richardson says. And riders can expect the possibility of spotting all sorts of critters from the safety of the treetops: waterfowl, the occasional white-tailed deer or wild boar, snakes, and alligators.
While traversing the course, riders will get up-close views of the swamp habitat. Suspension bridges among the cypress trees bring riders close to the natural beauty and provide the elevation gain needed for the next zip.
A highlight at the midpoint of the course is the causeway. “Our spiral tree staircase is constructed around the trunk of one of our old growth bald cypress,” Richardson says. “This truly unique feature is one of the most picturesque swamp views New Orleans can offer!”
From there, riders take the Voodoo Express—the fastest line on the course. The finale of the course brings riders over the “Gator Pit,” adding an extra dimension of daring to the day.
Guides carry cameras with them, and action photos are available for purchase.
The elevated viewing platform offers a great vantage point for other guests to cheer on their crew from the ground. Visitors can see half of the course and can spend the afternoon playing yard games and exploring the large aquarium with baby alligators and turtles.
Just a half-hour from the heart of New Orleans, ZIp NOLA offers a great opportunity for groups to have an exciting day filled with everything from alligators to ziplining.
Article by Michael McLaughlin
Main photo: Zip NOLA offers zip line tours above the Maurepas Swamp; Credit: Zip NOLA