Zipline Takes Off

Reaching heights as high as 400 feet above the hills of Marshall County is a thrill ride that carries brave passengers at speeds around 50 mph – all without the constraints of a roller coaster car.

Grand Vue Park’s 2,100-foot zip line ride opens at noon Saturday, along with the more expansive zip line tour. General Manager Craig White said about 4,000 people took the zip lines last year, a number he hopes to continue expanding in years to come.

“Grand Vue Park needed a destination attraction. This makes us unique,” he said.

White said the 2,100-foot plunge can last nearly 43 seconds, depending on one’s weight. He said its hours of operation will be from noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through November.

The more elaborate tour allows guests to use eight zip lines and three suspension bridges. White said those looking for this approximately three-hour experience must book their tours in advance.

“I know many people were scared at first, but they realized that our tour guides are there to help them,” he said. “We thoroughly check the equipment to make sure everything is safe.”

White said zip line enthusiasts must sign a waiver before they can ride and must weigh between 90-270 pounds. Participants must also be in relatively good health, as they must be able to climb multiple flights of stairs and short hills, while also walk on a natural trail.

There is a separate line for children and handicapped individuals that uses a hydraulic lift to eliminate the need for climbing.

For safety purposes, White said riders will not be allowed to bring cameras or cell phones that feature cameras on their journeys this year.

Instead, the park will take photos for customers, which they can purchase for an additional charge.

The park’s 18-hole golf course also opens on Saturday, and the swimming pool will open Memorial Day weekend. However, these are not the only attractions, White emphasized.

“We did some research. If people are driving up to two-to-three hours to come here for our zip line, they want to have more options,” he said.

To provide an additional convenient dining option, the park added Mason Dixon Barbecue Co. this year. Featuring ribs, pulled pork, wraps and other items, the venture – owned by Patrick Fisher – is smoking food from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Grand Vue’s Clubroom.

“I have high hopes and great expectations,” Fisher said, adding he is a graduate of Cameron High School and an Army combat veteran of the Afghanistan War. He is now using his Montgomery G.I. Bill money to major in business at West Liberty University.

Once the pool opens, the park will also offer a daily pass that includes one zip line ride, unlimited use of the pool and unlimited golf.

For more information, call 304-845-9810.