KNOXVILLE, Tenn.NAVITAT CANOPY ADVENTURES launches its new Ijams Canopy Experience July 17 at Ijams Nature Center in the heart of Knoxville’s treasured Urban Wilderness.

Designed and built by the nation’s premier provider of tree-based zipline adventures, NAVITAT’S Ijams Canopy Experience gives visitors an exciting new way to explore the forest of Ijams and is the latest addition to the 300-acre educational and outdoor recreation area just minutes from downtown Knoxville.

“The Ijams Canopy Experience is a one-of-a-kind adventure that showcases the natural beauty that Ijams is so well known for,” said Abby Burt, Branding & Marketing Leader for NAVITAT CANOPY ADVENTURES, headquartered in Asheville, N.C. “Like Ijams, we are committed to providing engaging and enriching experiences in the outdoors. And we’re really proud to be a part of Knoxville’s emergence as a top East Coast outdoor adventure destination.”

Located in the forest just a short walk from the Ijams Visitor Center, the Ijams Canopy Experience features more than 60 adventure elements, including ziplines, across six different tree-based “adventure trails” rated by difficulty. Easy trails, suitable for ages 5 and up, are closer to the ground and feature less difficult elements, while the challenging trails are up to 60 feet off the ground in some places, making for high-flying adventure in the forest.

The park also incorporates environmental artwork by renowned Knoxville artist Kelly Brown of Bower Bird Sculpture, whose whimsical structures constructed of natural materials are also featured in Jo’s Grove playspace at Ijams and elsewhere in the Urban Wilderness.

Like its courses in North Carolina, NAVITAT has designed the Ijams Canopy Experience to blend into the landscape, minimizing the environmental impact on the forest and its towering oaks, poplars and beech. The park site sits on just three of the 300 acres that make up the Ijams property.

“In designing and installing our tours, NAVITAT works really hard to have the lowest level of impact on the land possible while still providing access to these special places in really unique and exciting ways,” said Burt. “We look at the forest as our home, as someplace that we want to protect and revere.”

Guests begin their NAVITAT adventure at the Ijams Visitor Center and then take a short walk to the nearby ground school, where they gear up and learn proper techniques and safety information during a 20-minute orientation session.

Once guests have successfully learned the necessary skills, the Ijams Canopy Experience is an entirely self-guided adventure. Navitat’s highly trained Adventure Crew is on-site monitoring participants’ progress through the adventure trails at all times and assisting if needed.

Each of the course’s six adventure trails begins on a central tree-based platform where guests, utilizing equipment that ensures continuous connection to safety lines, can choose the route they want to take first. With themes like Water, Fish and Mountain Heritage, the trails and their adventure elements are designed to tell the stories of the Knoxville area’s natural and cultural histories.

“The design of the course is intended to be thrilling, educational and inspiring,” said Burt.

Trails end with a zipline, a downward climb on a net or a controlled descent by rope, returning guests to the forest floor where, once back on the central platform, they can opt to repeat a trail or move on to a different one.

NAVITAT is the latest addition to Ijams Nature Center, the jewel in the crown of Knoxville’s incredible park,” said Kim Bumpas, Visit Knoxville President and Ijams Board Chair. “The Ijams Canopy Experience, created by NAVITAT, is going to be an awesome and fantastic canopy tour for all to enjoy, just minute from downtown Knoxville. Ijams has it all: a unique treetop adventure, a paddle at Mead’s Quarry or a quiet stroll in the woods.”

NAVITAT at Ijams Nature Center will operate seven days a week through August, and Friday-Sunday from September through November. Group bookings, available any day of the week by appointment, can be scheduled in advance year-round.

Cost is $44-$49 per person, depending on age, and covers a 20-minute orientation followed by two hours of adventure time in the park. Children, ages 5 to 11, must be accompanied by an adult; waivers must be signed by a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 18.

Ijams Nature Center is a 300-acre urban green-space encouraging stewardship of the natural world by providing engaging outdoor experiences. A member and visitor supported non-profit park, Ijams is the gateway to the South Loop of Knoxville’s renowned Urban Wilderness.

NAVITAT specializes in high-adventure zipline canopy tours, with a heavy focus on educating guests about the natural environment, history and culture of the surrounding area. The company is consistently called one of the best zipline canopy tour operators in the nation.

Visit www.navitat.com/knoxville for more information.