PIKEVILLE – A high-flying adventure course is set to make its debut at Fall Creek Falls State Park in just a matter of days.
Tennessee State Parks, ArborTrek Canopy Adventures and The Adventure Guild LLC, a Tennessee-based adventure park builder/operator, recently announced the development of an aerial adventure park, a series of zip lines, suspension bridges and other challenge elements. Among the highlights: six routes, graded from easy to extreme, heights up to 40 feet and a new smart-belay system.
And just how soon could visitors be flying high?
The adventure park, which will operate under the name ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls, was originally scheduled to open in March, but delays – both weather and non-weather related – postponed the start. Michael Smith, president of ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls, said they are still holding true to a Friday, June 27, grand opening date. Tours are already scheduled for next week; Smith said all elements, more than 70 obstacles in total, should be complete by then.
While the tours are sure to increase visitor traffic at the park – and revenue – those numbers are difficult to predict. At the very least, Smith said they’re planning to hire 22 guides for the peak summer season, guides who will provide instruction, encouragement and assistance along course. The adventure park would also be open on weekends in the spring and fall.
Fall Creek Falls is Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park, with more than 26,000 rugged acres of cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and hardwood timber. Smith said it was a perfect fit.
“We (tend to) look for iconic locations that allow people to get out of their urban environment and into an area that is beautiful and pristine. Fall Creek Falls is very appealing to us,” he said. “Not only because of the number of visitors already coming to the falls, but because it provided an opportunity to enter a marketplace that attracts a lot of people, but doesn’t necessarily have a lot of recreational opportunities. More and more families are looking for more bang for their buck. Aerial adventure parks are wonderful in the sense that they can provide really novel experiences that families with children of all ages can participate.
“We also believe there was an opportunity to do several things for the park,” Smith added. “One, increasing the length of stay, because one of the things that surveys found were visitors were looking for additional attractions. The second is, during our surveys and our marketing (efforts) throughout the area, we found that a lot of people grew up going to Fall Creek Falls, but maybe hadn’t come back in awhile, or hadn’t explored it since their youth. This would give people one more reason to come back and re-explore.”
Cost for the aerial adventure is $49.95 for patrons ages 4 and up. A limited access trip for children 4-8 costs $29.95. The tour will take roughly 2.5-hours to complete.
For more information, visit www.zipstreamfallcreekfalls.com or call (615) 861-9947.