A Thrilling Good Time: Off the Grid Mountain Adventures set to open Monday
Published 9:33 am Thursday, March 31, 2016
When looking for a spot to build his next outdoors adventure park, Bristol’s Monie McCoury and his wife, Janice, decided that Carter County would be the perfect place.
And, come Monday Apr. 4, Off the Grid Mountain Adventures, located off of Highway 19E, is scheduled to be open for business.
The roughly 74 acres of property has enough adrenaline inducing adventures to keep any thrill seeker happy.
“This right here will be all the thrill you need,” said an energetic Tyler Napier, operations manager at Off the Grid.
The headlining attraction at Off the Grid is a 3,000 ft double zip line that sends riders soaring over the park, while reaching heights of 300 ft and speeds of 60 mph. Once done with the large zipline, adrenaline junkies can literally zip into the park’s next big attraction.
Towering 60-foot over the park is a tower equipped with two more ziplines. Once adventure seekers traverse the long trek of steps to the top of the tower or zipline straight into the top of it, they will be confronted with two wooden planks that walk right off the side of the tall structure. One plank allows the participant to repel down to the ground at a slower speed, while the other is not as gentle.
“We have the ‘Quick Jump,’” said Napier. “It allows you to free fall for 20 feet before it catches you.”
Located not too far from the tower is a large swing that is not just for little kids. Once dropped, riders of the giant swing feel weightlessness before finishing out the smooth ride.
Parked right in the middle of the park is a green Swedish military vehicle called a Hagglund. The Hagglund operates on a set of tracks much like a tank and is broken into two cabs that articulate. The vehicle was designed to go about anywhere. Visitors to the park can enjoy a ride unlike anything else in the country as they ride the Hagglund up a 50 percent grade before going on a two-mile scenic journey.
“This is the only place in the United States that does Hagglund tours,” Napier said. “The closest place is New Zealand.”
Monie McCoury is no stranger to adventure parks. From 2008 to 2014, McCoury ran the first-ever zipline attraction in Boone, N.C., Scream Time Zipline. Before opening Scream Time Zipline, McCoury had never even rode a zipline.
“I had sold my company in Atlanta and moved up this way,” McCoury said. “So we sat around and were thinking of what to do, and it hit me. Ziplining would be cool. I had never been on a zipline before.”
McCoury went out and found property to build his zipline on and then began the search for the right company to build it. And the company he found to build the zipline was Experience Based Learning out of Rockford, Illinois. EBL was founded by Steve Gustafson, who is considered by some to be the inventor of the modern day zipline. McCoury would end up calling on EBL once again, this time to build Off the Grid Mountain Adventures.
Fast forward to 2015, and McCoury was looking for the right spot for his next zipline park. And much like the spontaneity of his first park, McCoury found the location of Off the Grid Mountain Adventures by chance while driving down Highway 19E.
“We were headed back to Boone to look at more property,” McCoury said. “We headed down 19E and, as we drove by, we saw the property on the left hand side of the road. I, immediately, did a U-turn.”
With its 24 acres of flat land and a horseshoe ridge that wraps around, McCoury knew the property would be perfect for what he wanted to do.
“We found that the place was absolutely beautiful and suitable for what we needed,” McCoury said.
Construction began Feb. 4, and now, with all the inspections passed, the park is scheduled to open in five days.
For more information call 423-707-6022.