Visitors come to North Beach Plantation to relax and enjoy the comfortable oceanfront accommodations, the first-class amenities and the AAA Four Diamond Award service that all adds up to a luxurious vacation. But for those guests who want to inject some extreme sports adrenaline into their Grand Strand getaway, a new and exciting attraction is only a few trees away.
Go Ape Treetop Adventure opened last year at the new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, just a few miles inland of the North Beach property. Featuring a series of ziplines and a 40-obstacle ropes course, Go Ape gives adventurous souls the opportunity to play Tarzan for a day by swinging through the trees, working your way through challenging obstacles and soaring over the open waters of the park's 50-acre natural lake.
Built in the dense pine and hardwood forests that make up much of the 350-acre park and sports complex, Go Ape is the Grand Strand's latest addition to the local ecotourism lineup. While the Myrtle Beach area is best known for water sports, Go Ape provides a rare opportunity to get a small taste of what the undeveloped inland areas have to offer. Although the attraction may sound a bit extreme for some visitors, Go Ape gives each patron a mandatory training course to show climbers the ropes and cover a wide range of safety issues.
The experience begins with a detailed training session by Go Ape's experienced and certified staff of guides and instructors. After a crash course in how to maneuver in your harness and being outfitted with other safety gear, patrons follow their guide through a few treetop obstacles before being allowed to venture out on their own. The course starts out with a lower degree of difficulty so newcomers can gain confidence with their rigging and environment, and the layout increases in height and intensity as you advance through the stations. Patrons are allowed to choose between easier and more difficult challenges.
The ropes-course obstacles include such intimidating names as the Tarzan Swing, Tibetan Bridge, the Jungle Crossing, the Magic Carpet Ride, the Spider's Web and the Zig-Zag Crossing, but passing each test gives guests more confidence to take on the next station. Patrons eventually reach the zip lines, which include a stretch that spans five football fields. There is a total of 2,440 feet of zip lines ranging from easier to more intense so visitors can work their way up to the final thrilling zip across the crystal blue lake.
Go Ape is an international chain of nature thrill parks with 22 locations in the United States and Europe. Capitalizing on the growing trend of eco-tourism in America, Go Ape offers the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and take on new and exciting challenges. Go Ape boasts a strong safety record and provides guides and instructors skilled in both ropes navigation and first aid. The new state of the art safety harnesses offer the latest in tree-climbing technology, and guides walk beginners through the course step by step before they are ready to fly solo.
Participants must be at least 10 years old, stand at least 4 feet, 7 inches in height, and weigh less than 285 pounds. Patrons are required to wear closed-toe shoes, and long sleeve shirts and pants are recommended for maximum protection. The full tour takes between 2 to 3 hours to complete and the cost is $55 for adults ages 18 and up and $35 for ages 10-17. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by visiting www.goape.com.