Brandcation - Florida EcoSafaris Ziplining at Forever Florida!11:42 AM
Forever Florida is a 4,700 acre wildlife conservation area that encompasses 9 different habitats and also includes that Crescent J ranch that has a living history museum, Spanish Colonial Cattle that are herded by real cowboys each day and the smaller yet sturdy Cracker Horses. Florida EcoSafaris is part of Forever Florida and offers visitors three exciting safari options, a Zipline Safari, Horseback Safari and a Coach Safari that is accessible to young children and those who are handicapped.
When we arrived, Matt Duda introduced us to the place and let us know a little more about what was available there and how Forever Florida and Florida EcoSafaris was born.
Dr. Broussard was a 10th generation rancher and raised his family on the Crescent J Ranch. His son Allen Broussard loved the land and dreamt of one day conserving it for future generations to enjoy. He went to college and became a wildlife ecologist. Unfortunately, Allen Broussard passed away at a young age and was never able to realize his dream of conserving the land and wildlife surrounding the Crescent J Ranch, so his family did it for him and created Forever Florida.
After the presentation from Matt, it was my group's turn to head out to the zip line course. We walked out to the coach like we were headed for death row and clung to our seats as we neared the drop off point. When we arrived, we were taken to see some wildlife animals and then headed to get set up in our harnesses. All I can say, is that no one, especially me, looks good in a zip line harness.
After making sure we were all securely tucked into our harnesses, we walked down a short trail and made the climb up the tower. It swayed, it shook, it wobbled, but we were all assured that it was perfectly secure. It must have been, because it didn't collapse, not even when all 11 of us plus two guides were huddled up on the platform.
Taking off from that platform on the first zip was like pushing when you are in labor. You know it is something that you have to do, but you really really don't want to. I did though and so did everyone else, including Katie from A Shopper's Quest who was so entirely frozen in fear, she could barely move. We were all so very proud of her though, as she pushed through her fear and finished the whole course of 7 zips (including one over a gigantic gator) and two sky bridges!
Here is a video of me ziplining. I took it myself, so you will have to excuse the shaking!
After the last zip was done, I was still wanting more. Ziplining is seriously fun and even children can do it as long as they are at least 10 years old and weigh 70 pounds! I would not hesitate to recommend this experience to anyone. We were treated to a delicious BBQ lunch at the Cypress Restaurant, that serves meat from the cows that are raised and grass fed right there on the land.
I want to send out a special thanks again to the ladies that helped put together Brandcation and to Florida EcoSafaris for allowing us to come and visit them. This was an amazing experience that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to try.
A special thanks also goes out to Lorie from The Shewbridges of Central Florida who is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet and also provided most of the pictures in this post!