Try this: Zip it up
31 Jul 2012
- Written by Romana
Unless you fancy chartering planes or have the guts to go skydiving, a bird’s eye view of the Lowcountry may seem hard to come by. ZipLine Hilton Head is changing that.
Harness up, strap in, climb to heights up to 75 feet, and swing Tarzan-style through the beautiful island foliage on a ziplining adventure.
Don’t worry. Unlike the high flying jungle man, you’ll you be strapped safely in a harness, zipping along cords suspended from platforms throughout the course, but the high is still there. Two charismatic guides, in our case it was Linda or “Captain” Allen, sandwich adventure seekers between them through the course, giving a sense of safety and security. They keep the mood light with humor, but get out of line, and they’ll put you in your place, literally, simply by tugging you around by your harness.
Allen, a former fireman who has lived in the area his whole life, is even a fan of the occasional practical joke. Be sure to watch out for a few fake snakes hidden throughout the course, ready to make even the boldest zippers jump after landing. After one woman’s intense snake phobia nearly derailed the venture, however, the Captain may be second-guessing his joker ways.
“We had to stop the tour for at least 20 minutes. She had a full-fledged meltdown and was literally hugging the tree in hysterics,” he chuckled.
The course opened up just a few months ago in April and is already a hit on the island. Owner Roger Freedman, who has owned the land around Broad Creek Marina since 1993, said the property was originally meant to be a residential village before the economic downturn. After he made the decision to turn it into a zipline course, a lengthy process concerning zoning began in November of 2010.
“Ziplining is congruent with ecotourism and that was a big benefit of convincing the committees that what we are doing benefitted Hilton Head,” Freedman said.
Freedman is excited about the feedback on the course so far.
“I haven’t heard of one person go through and not enjoy it,” he said. “Besides the business being great, there’s a great pride and pleasure on my part knowing that people are really enjoying themselves.”
As you get further through the course, the platforms get higher and the lines get longer. Consequently, the zip rides get longer and faster, and the view gets better and better. Before setting out on the highest zip of the course, you can stop and take in a breathtaking view of Broad Creek and the surrounding island life. After zipping through the air, climbing stairs, and crossing bridges, this breather, and breeze, will be more than welcome.
Just ask the Captain, “That’s a million dollar breeze right there.”
Altogether, the course boasts seven ziplines, three suspended sky bridges, an aerial staircase, and even a dual cable racing zipline as long as two football fields.
Though the racing cables aren’t open quite yet, there’s still plenty of competition to be had between zipliners (especially with the consent, if not encouragement, of your helpful guides): Who can scream the loudest? Zip the fastest? Land the smoothest?
There’s no better way to find out than by dipping your toes in the Lowcountry’s skies.