There's a new "thrill ride" at Lake Guntersville that just might take your breath away. I was able to experience it and live to tell you all about it.
I was invited to the opening of the level two zip line course at Screaming Eagle at Lake Guntersville. I was asked if I wanted to actually ride on the zip line and I responded quickly with a "Yes!" After all, who wouldn't want to soar over the trees at one of Alabama's prettiest state parks? I drove up to the entrance of the state park and meandered my way to the beautiful lodge.
When I arrived, there were several men with large cameras on hand to capture footage for that evening's news hanging around the lobby. I, on the other hand, only had my iPhone with me to snap pictures when I could, which ended up being at the beginning and at the conclusion. That was alright because I was here for the experience.
After we registered, we headed as a group to the Gear Shack. There we were outfitted with the safety gear and given instructions on how ziplining works. Safety first, you know?
There are two different lines at the park - level one and level two. Level one takes about 2 hours to complete and costs $59 per person. It's what I would consider the easy course. There are 10 zip lines that range from 20 feet to 75 feet in the air. Easy peasy, right?
Level two is another story and that reason we were all there. Level two consists of a total of 15 zip lines that range up to 2100 feet and costs $99 (the price includes level 1 and 2 zips). The distance was not the deal breaker to me - the height was. I made it through 3 out of 4 lines. I chickened out just prior to the fourth that our group was going to cross. To get to it, we had to climb the tower pictured below which is about 80 feet high.
I actually enjoyed the first 3 lines that we tried. I was just too scared to take the final leap, though I should not have been.
Safety is a priority at Screaming Eagle. In order to ride the zip line, guests must meet certain requirements, such as weighing no more than 250 pounds for women and no more than 285 for men. Riders have to be able to climb a 100-foot tower and have good balance. All of the requirements are spelled out in the waiver that has to be read and signed prior to gearing up.
At Screaming Eagle, they use a closed belay system for beginning to end. They are a member of the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and adhere to all of the safety guidelines. They also conduct and document their own daily system and in-use equipment inspections, as well as check for wear, serviceability, and other potential safety issues.
Here is a video clip from TV24 about Screaming Eagle Zipline. (It is also proof that I did zip down one of the lines!)
To learn more about Screaming Eagle, visit LakeGuntersvilleZipline.com.