Flying through the air on the Shawnee Bluff Canopy Tour- Photo By Rose Hammitt

Flying through the air on the Shawnee Bluff Canopy Tour- Photo By Rose Hammitt

With all intentions of joining in with a thrown out back, I was only able to watch the mechanics of this fun new adventure in Makanda, Illinois, but after seeing how safe and exciting it is, I want to go back and take part.

Marc and Cany Miles have taken 83 acres in the midst of the Shawnee National Forest and created southern Illinois first zip line. After three years of hard work, they opened in April of 2013 and have been going great gang busters ever since.

The day my friend Rose and I were there, a group of 8 hardy souls set out on the tour.

Marc explained a bit about the tour. “No man-made towers or cement will be found on this course. SBCT consists of 8 zip lines, three aerial bridges and two short ground hikes. You will cross a valley over a bouldered creek four times, the last on an 1100 foot zip approaching 40 miles per hour. The course ends when you walk over a 180 foot aerial bridge back to the forest floor…”

The zip line day like the song for Gilligan’s Island goes, is “a three hour tour, a three hour tour”. Before heading out, participants have hair up, valuables removed and have suited up.

The day we were there, tour guides Michael and Dustin worked in tandem showing everyone how to suit up, then taking them through the training thy called Flight School.

After a quick overview, they were off and going flying high above the beautiful Shawnee Forest!

Marc Miles, an equine vet and his wife Candy had created a small zip line for their grandkids and loving that decided to build a real one. The site is beautiful, the guides well trained, now all it takes is signing up for the tour and you are off!

For more information, log onto or call 1-855-386-9477.

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