First Flight Adventure Park Opens in Nags Head
The wait is over! After two years in the making, First Flight Adventure Park is opening its doors TODAY to the public as the Outer Banks’ first and only aerial park.
The park’s 60-foot tower supports 48 different elements to cross, including ladders, cargo nets, zip lines, a Tarzan swing and more. The elements are ranked in difficulty from Tropical Storm to Category 5 Hurricane, providing activity for all ages and skill sets. As their brochure reads, the course accommodates the adventurer in all of us, “from grandma to Navy seal,” – no experience necessary.
I got to take a preview tour of the park yesterday, and I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun! In my mind I was on an episode of Wiped Out, or American Gladiators, minus the possibility of actually wiping out or getting pummeled by an incredibly muscular woman named Storm. I was high above the sound but felt totally safe, navigating over planks, which I imagined hovered just above hot molten lava. It brought out the kid in me, a quality of a true adventure park!
Equipped with a helmet, gloves, and secured safely in a harness, adventure seekers maneuver along the self-guided aerial ropes course. Participants are attached to leads that are permanently secured to the zip line. This high-tech constant belay system eliminates the possibility of human error.
The tower also gives adventure seekers a 360-degree view of Nags Head from the sound to the ocean, and a spectacular sunset display rivaled by no other Outer Banks attraction. This unique experience is captured for each individual through a system called SnapSport, a photography scheme that follows each adventurer through the course by a sensor in his or her helmet. Afterwards, back at base camp, course-goers can view their photos by searching for the number on their helmet and can purchase what they like.
Owners Brad and Abby Carey are excited to see their dream come to life.
“We both love recreation and this is what this area doesn’t have and it’s what we know,” Abby said.
Growing up in Maryland, the couple’s families vacationed on the Outer Banks every year, and when the two ended up moving away for school, they made North Carolina their permanent home.
“We met in college in a rock climbing class,” Abby recalled with a big smile. “We have lived in Greenville, in the mountains, and now at the beach,” she said.
Permanent Outer Banks residents for four years, but off and on for 10, the Carey’s are locals with a big gift to the area.
Brad has been building aerial parks, zip lines and rope courses for 12 years and Abby has led bicycle tours, so the two are experts in activity. Along with the help of a few others, including the adventure park’s general manager, Brett Harrison, Brad built the park from the ground up. The unique spiral design leaves room for future additions.
More info: Guides are CPR certified and trained in rescue, should a participant need immediate evacuation from the course. There is one guide for every 10 people, but with only one person allowed on each element at a time, guides can keep a close watch on adventurers.
Participants are given two hours to complete the course after a 30-minute preparation session and reservations are preferred but walk-ins are also welcome. The cost is $49 for adults, and $39 for kids, 10 and under.