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There are plenty of places to get wet and wild on the Grand Strand, where waterparks and watersports outfitters located all along the 60-mile stretch of the Atlantic coastline. But few places offer the chance to stay high and dry in the treetops for a thrilling adventure ... until now.
The Sept. 1 grand opening of the Go Ape Treetop Adventure at the North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Park brought a new type of extreme sports and eco-tourism attraction to the Strand. Carved out of the hardwood forest west of the Intracoastal Waterway, Go Ape gives thrill-seekers an outlet in a natural and scenic atmosphere.
Although ropes courses and ziplines are nothing new to Myrtle Beach, the others are located at Broadway at the Beach and the former Myrtle Beach Pavilion site, ideal locations for attracting tourists but not the best spot for nature-lovers who like to escape the crowds for the sanctuary of the forest and the tranquility of the outdoors.
Go Ape, an international chain of outdoor adventure sites, delivers its latest layout in North Myrtle Beach with a 40-obstacle course that is sure to help you get in touch with your inner primate. Guests can play Tarzan and Jane for a day by soaring through the trees with the greatest of ease, at least once they've mastered the ropes and harnesses.
Featuring five different stations that include ziplines, step bridges and repelling walls, the North Myrtle Beach Go Ape location is the perfect outlet for the brave and the curious. Zoom down a 600- to 900-foot zipline over a crystal-clear, 25-acre lake; let put a trademark Tarzan scream while you swing through the trees and safely land on a large cargo net; and balance your way through a series of suspended cables and logs.
Patrons are required to go through a 30-minute safety demonstration before hitting the trees, and safety harnesses and ropes are required even for experienced climbers. Experienced instructors can teach virtually anyone how to navigate the course, which begins slowly but ramps up in intensity through each of the five stations, which increase in intensity and degree of difficulty. Among the 40 obstacles are popular rides like the Tibetan Bridge, the Flying Carpet, the Zig-Zag Crossing and the Spider's Web.
The course spans over six acres and features 2,440 feet of rope work, and the entire Go Ape experience last between two to three hours experience depending upon how many of the obstacles you choose to try. Guests are allowed to choose between more difficult or extreme challenges as the experience progresses. Completion of each series of obstacles brings an opportunity to repeat your favorite rides or move on to the next challenge, so the adventurous can get more adrenaline rush for the buck and those who prefer to play it close to the harness vest can tackle obstacles within their comfort zone.
Go Ape is located at 150 Citizens Loop Road in North Myrtle Beach, just off Highway 31 on Robert Edge Parkway. The cost is $55 for adults and as low as $35 for children 17-and under, although they must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 10 and over can play, as long as they are at least 4-foot-7 and accompanied by an adults. For more information or to book reservations, call 843-280-3800 or visit the web site at www.goape.com.
(photo courtesy: GoApe.com)