Park system considers zip line for Cheaha

The Alabama State Parks system has taken steps toward adding new recreational activities at several state parks, including Cheaha State Park, above.

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Screaming Eagle Adventures, which developed and maintains zip-line courses at Banning Mills, Ga., will design aerial attractions for Cheaha State Park and three other state parks.

Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein announced Monday that a contract was awarded to Screaming Eagle Adventures to design and maintain attractions at Cheaha, DeSoto, Lake Guntersville and Wind Creek state parks.

The state parks have changed since Cheaha’s first structures were built in the 1930s, Lein was quoted as saying in a news release.

“Our existing recreational concession agreements have been very successful and attracted tens of thousands to our parks,” Lein said. “We expect the new aerial attraction to be equally successful and bring new visitors to our incredible parks.”

Efforts Monday to reach representatives of Screaming Eagle were unsuccessful.

The park system has successful concession agreements with private businesses throughout the state, including a recreational concession with Gulf State Adventure Center, which operates a zip line in Gulf State Park, and FlipSide Watersports, which operates a water cable system for waterboarding at Oak Mountain Park. The businesses build and maintain the attractions and the parks get a portion of the revenue they generate, Lein said.

Tammy Power, superintendent of Cheaha State Park, said a zip line — which uses gravity to let visitors wearing harnesses glide along metal cables — will be constructed at Cheaha Lake. At least a portion of the ride should be open by summer, Power said.

The park was most concerned that the company awarded the contract would be professional and eco-friendly, and representatives from Screaming Eagle fit that bill, she said.

“No trees will be taken down,” Power said, although she noted some may have to be topped off to accommodate the platforms.

She said after an ice storm in 2014 caused some trees to topple, the park has areas that are wide open, and that is the area the representatives were looking to put the zip line infrastructure.

“We’re really excited about this zip line coming in,” Power said. “I’ve been here for 30 years and for 30 years people have said, ‘What’s there to do?’”

This will allow them to see the park and maybe experience a little excitement at the same time, she said.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545 or, in Heflin, 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.