On behalf of the McMullan family, I welcome you to The Shallotte River Swamp Park. When I purchased this tract of land, I was immediately impressed with its natural beauty, from the upland wooded environment to the pristine world of the swamp waters. On my first visit, I encountered deer, turkey, quail, as well as a snake and a bunch of chiggers. I immediately fell in love with this natural environment and my goal was thus established; to figure out a way to create a business plan that makes use of the property in a manner that causes as little disturbance to the natural environment as possible. From that came the vision for The Shallotte River Swamp Park, a nature oriented eco park featuring swamp boat tours, a zipline canopy course, a tree-top aerial challenge course, a self-guided educational nature trail, and a guided swamp buggy tour traversing the entire property offering an educational experience while showcasing the plant and animal life of the park.
As I was going through all the “hoops” of pulling together the project, with a heavy dose of frustration, I recall commenting to my wife, “Why on earth do I want to build a swamp park?” Her answer provided the inspiration for me to persevere. In a few words, she said, “When we were growing up, we grew up outside in the natural environment. We had free reign of our neighborhood, the woods, the creeks, and more. We experienced all that nature had to offer, and from that, we gained an appreciation and respect for our environment. In today’s world, kids’ lives are so controlled, with organized sports, crime concerns, not to mention the electronic gadgets, such that they are not able to experience nature like we did as kids. The Shallotte River Swamp Park will offer them a showcase where they can see, touch, and feel the world we experienced, and as a result, hopefully gain the respect for nature that it deserves.” WOW. Those were powerful words, and served as the kick in the butt I needed to forge ahead.
We hope you enjoy your swamp park experience and will come back again and again. As time progresses, we will add additional venues such as Gators Grille (to be built on an elevated walkway over the swamp), an alligator containment area where they can be viewed for educational purposes, and who knows what else we will dream up!