Zipping to Adventure

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Zipping to Adventure

Adventurers take a ride down The Adventure Park zip-line. The main tower has three 2,500-square-foot levels for zipping and observation. Zippers start at the top level with four parallel zip-lines to zip 500 feet to the return tower. (Courtesy)
Adventurers take a ride down The Adventure Park zip line. The main tower has three 2,500-square-foot levels for zipping and observation. Zippers start at the top level with four parallel zip lines to zip 500 feet to the return tower. (Courtesy)

Now that summer has officially begun, head out to South Padre Island for some action. Try some different action, not the kind like windsurfing, paddle boarding, buggy riding, off-road driving or hopping on a boat to go after one’s favorite fish.

The south and north end of the Island gets the most crowds, there is a facility near the end of Texas Highway 100 that provides plenty of things to do for those who love the outdoors. That is the Island Adventure Park.

The park has horseback riding on the beach (including moonlight rides) and a zip line. There are also pony rides and a petting barn for the little ones. Although the adventure park has not gotten the attention as other Island attractions has garnered through the years, it is known as the place for equestrian enthusiasts. 

Long horns and bison at the Island Adventure Park mini zoo.
Long horns and bison at the mini zoo.

Doyle Wells, the park’s owner, said he has been investing in the tourist facility for a number of years. He said he has had the horseback riding services for about 30 years at various locations before settling on the north end of the Island.

Wells added a zip line in 2017, building two 80-foot high towers. The 800-foot lines are 60 feet above ground.

Laredo resident Erica Lara said she discovered the park as she was browsing the dozen or more Island brochures found in the hotel where she was staying on the Island.

“I am going on the zip line,” she said. “I am going even though I am afraid of heights.”

A little while later, Lara got on the tower and put on a harness. As she was on the edge of a platform, one could hear her saying, “No puedo. No Puedo (I can’t. I can’t).”

About a minute later, she went zipping from one tower to another.

Zip line users can go as many times within the time they pay for.

Tiffany Showers brought her two children and her mom to the park. She said she used the zip line and took her children to the petting zoo.

“I have never done it before,” she said. “It was really exciting.”

To get to Island Adventure Park, take Highway 100 North with the park located near the end of the road. Don’t get discouraged by the mountains of sand and the narrowness on sections of the road nearly covered by the drifting sand. It’s something the Texas Department of Transportation has been battling through the years.

You will be fine as long as you stay on the black top.

Freelance journalist Tony Vindell has more than 30 years experience as a newspaper reporter. Born in Nicaragua, he studied journalism and political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. He began his career working for The Pecos Enterprise in West Texas. Vindell also worked for The Laredo News, The Brownsville Herald, Valley Morning Star, Port Isabel News Press and the Raymondville Chronicle/News. Vindell, who lives in Brownsville with his wife Sharon, enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

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