Hit the Road with Jac: Climbing in the Pine trees

WIGGINS, MS (WDAM) - Perkinston, MS is lined with beautiful Pine trees and at Elevate Red Creek you get to climb in them.

The adventure course started with two long-time friends, Dusty Watts and T.J. Golson. Watts found his love for zip lining after experiencing it in Costa Rica and Guatemala. After one trip, he suggested to his friend that they should start an adventure course in their own backyard.

"People need to get outdoors more," said Watts. "They need to experience the outdoors. We said not only will we have a great time zip lining through the trees, but we want to showcase south Mississippi."

Watts and Golson spent six years planning, saving and even building parts of the course.  The friends would come up everyday after work, to oversee and help with the project.

"TJ and I aren't the kind of folks that we're not going to build something ourselves," said Watts. "We want to get in there and learn. This was a new industry to us."

In January 2016, Elevate Red Creek opened with three courses. The Mockingbird course for kids, Kingfish for intermediates and Osprey for the brave adventure-seekers.

Before stepping foot on any of the courses, you have to go through and pass a training course. While on the ground, you must learn how to connect your carabiner to the "clown nose" safety check points and practice stopping on a zip line.

"We see a lot of people enter with that sense of what am I doing and exit with such a sense of accomplishment and 'Hey, I did this!'," said Watts.

That my friends, was me. I was tested as I tried the Kingfish intermediate course. I was suspended 30 to 40 feet in the air with  19 sets of obstacles before I could touch ground again.

Watts said the course is intended to "Elevate" your mind, body and spirit. As I took my first steps, I felt this motto applied. The course took about 40 minutes to complete, and afterward comes a sense of accomplishment.

The adventure course is located on Red Creek. Watts and Golson both suggest backing a picnic to enjoy on the creek after the course. Elevate Red Creek also offers cabins for guests that are interested in staying on the property.

"Just make a day of it and we love to have a place like this that gives families an opportunity to reconnect," said Watts.