World’s 1st fully aquatic swamp zipline now open in LaPlace ;Zip NOLA combines adventure & education
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2021
LAPLACE — The world’s first fully aquatic swamp zipline is now open at 301 Peavine Road in LaPlace, allowing thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike to experience a bird’s eye view of the iconic Maurepas swamp.
Co-owners Barry Gros Jr. and Tyler Richardson yearned to give visitors a new way to explore South Louisiana swamps. Inspired by the adventurous ziplines in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, Gros and Richardson aim to share the beauty of local swamps with tourists from around the world.
Zip NOLA offers 20,000 linear feet of advanced zipline technology with safety features including automatic magnetic breaking devices. Visitors are accompanied by two guides and secured to the hook for the duration of the 90-minute tour for the safest ride possible. The course includes five ziplines that each bring a special sense of adventure. According to Gros, lines one and three are the fastest, two is the most scenic, and the last brings riders closest to the water.
The state-of-the-art course also offers two suspension bridges, a towering spiral tree staircase, and a spacious gift shop with snacks and drinks. Those who opt not to take the zipline tour can still enjoy yard games and scenic views of the Maurepas swamp.
Owner Barry Gros Jr. said platforms were collared around the cypress trees with great care, ensuring they will not hinder the trees’ future growth.
“We’re thrilled to bring this unique activity to New Orleans,” Gros said. “Until now, we’ve only been able to view our incredible swamplands by boat or plane. Visitors will now be able to see our state’s iconic scenery and wildlife from a stunning bird’s eye point of view.”
Co-owner Tyler Richardson has previously worked in the swamp tour business, and he’s excited to find new and innovative ways to educate guests on swamp ecosystem.
“Nature can be our greatest classroom, and it was the love of the swamp and the need for
innovative ways to explore it that ultimately led to Zip NOLA becoming a reality,” Richardson said. “Our vision is to merge the thrill of zipline with the beauty of the swamp in an educational environment.”
While zipping through the Cypress trees, guests may be able to spot alligators, turtles, egrets, snakes, whitetail deer or even wild boar from the safety of the tree tops. From the deck platform overlooking the swamp, Zip NOLA also offers critter encounters with baby alligators, turtles and fish.
Zip NOLA owners are forming community partnerships with the River Parishes Tourist Commission, as well as nearby restaurants Bec’s at the Lake and Frenier Landing. Business has been booming since the official opening earlier this month, and the unique swamp experience has the potential to stimulate economic development in the region. Gros and Richardson look forward to hosting birthday parties, summer camp excursions and employee teambuilding experiences.
The facility is open for tours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The cost is $89 per person, and the ziplines support individuals weighing between 45 and 280 pounds. Large groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted rates. A $114 per person option includes round trip shuttle service from most Downtown New Orleans hotels.
To learn more or purchase tickets, please visit www.zipnola.com or follow Zip NOLA on Instagram or Facebook.