Swamps are to be appreciated, not feared, at least according to Rube McMullan, who is adding a nature and aerial adventure park on his property near Ocean Isle Beach Road in Brunswick County, N.C. Challenge Designs Innovations of Pineola, N.C., is doing the build.
“We are creating a project here that will basically reintroduce kids and their families to this beautiful natural world,” McMullan said. “Hopefully they will learn something from it and gain an appreciation for nature and everything that is so wonderful about it.”
Scheduled to open in June, Shallotte Swamp Park will include a mile long zip lining course 50 feet above the swampland as well as nature trails and guided boat tours. Aside from the parking lot, McMullan said, the majority of the swampland will be left untouched.
McMullan invited state wildlife officials to tour the property and help identify various plants and species. Informational markers will be placed throughout the park and guided tours will be led by experts who will explain the history of the swamp and its creatures. Officials are also looking at the idea of doing swamp boat tours at night.
“You’ll be zipping along the swamp from cypress tree to cypress tree and hopefully the animals will come, there are all kinds of interesting critters you might see,” McMullan said.
Brunswick County leaders said they are excited about the tourism attraction.
“I think it is going to give us an edge that other areas do not have, it’s going to drive business,” said Shannon Viera, president of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce.