Proposed zip line adventure park could revitalize Mud Island, investors say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zip lines, an obstacle course, and other fun could be coming to the Mud Island River Park.

A Chicago-based group and its partners presented a plan for attractions at the park to the Memphis City Council Tuesday.

PHOTOS: Proposed zip line adventure park could revitalize Mud Island

An adventure park on Mud Island could be a reality in less than a year if the City of Memphis can agree on terms with outdoor activities company The Forge Adventure Parks.

Zooming toward the Memphis skyline at 50 miles an hour over the Wolf River Harbor could be the view Memphians and tourists get from rides on two zip-lines.

“What we’ve proposed will be the region’s first, largest, and most exciting and extension zip-lining system,” The Forge Adventure Parks founder Jeremie Bacon said.

Imagine a zip-lining system that takes you over a quarter of a mile at speeds you can only really achieve in a car, over the harbor into the central piece of Mud Island.

The Forge Memphis is a proposed $10 million private investment at Mud Island.

It would also include an aerial challenge course, climbing walls, event space for festivals and educational aspects, including school trips, summer camps and conservation efforts.

“I think this is the most well thought out plan that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Councilwoman Patrice Robinson said.

The plan was mostly well received by the city council’s parks committee Tuesday morning.

A few concerns were brought up, including questions over parking and the park’s compatibility with other plans for Mud Island.

“I guess what we need is a recommendation from River Parks saying that they’re OK with this as they’re moving forward with their plan,” Councilman Jeff Warren said.

If approved, the park is expected to attract 100,000 people and generate $500,000 for the city every year.

“We see in Memphis a perfect partner to bring activities and exhilarate and entertain people of all ages and abilities,” Bacon said.

Bacon said Memphis has a lot to offer, including a growing population.

“We have a city that’s civic-minded, that’s conservation-minded, and that is what our brand and our business is all about,” he said.

Tuesday’s meeting before city council members was the third time the project was discussed.

So just how soon could we see people zip-lining over Mud Island?

There are several steps that still need to take place, including getting the River Parks approval, city council approval, and a licensing agreement, but The Forge believes when all is said and done, this could be happening within 10 months.

“We have our memorandum of understanding and our license agreement, which are ready for execution,” Bacon said. “That’s the next step here is to get the final license agreement put in place. We’ve already lined up all our construction partners, we’re ready to break ground.”