Move over ATV’s, there’s a new adventure sport vehicle in town – the Spider Car, and you can only find them at Historic Banning Mills Adventure Park, located about an hour west of Atlanta.
What is a Spider Car you ask? It is an eco-friendly, electric four-wheel go cart/ATV that when you see it head on, looks a little like a Ford Model T trundling down the dirt trails. However, that is where the resemblance ends. Instead of sideboards, this car has spider-like arms that move independently making it easy to navigate uneven terrain. The low pendulum seat keeps the driver level, even when those spider arms are navigating trail obstacles. It is a smooth ride that feels much safer than standard ATV that can easily tip or roll. But do watch out when driving the tandem without a second rider as my son found out.
Spider Car Eco-Tours
If you don’t want to take in Historic Banning Mills gorgeous 300 acres by flying through the treetops on one of their famous zip line courses (which I still consider the best zip lines in the US), the Spider Car tours are a fantastic way to explore the terrain closer to mother earth. You’ll visit some of Banning Mills attractions, like the 100 foot power free fall, and the climbing wall that is in the Guinness Book of World Records with your guide. As cool as those attraction are, I enjoyed learning more about the area’s history and seeing the remnants of the former mill and mill town that were located on this site.
My boys were instantly intrigued the moment I mentioned heading out on this adventure and were excited to be the first ones to try these new cars. Tours are 90 minutes and take you along asphalt and dirt trails, as well as across the swinging Big Shoals Bridge which is 700 feet long and towers 170 feet over the Snake Creek Gorge and rushing Snake Creek River.
Driving is Easy
You must be at least 16-years-old to drive the cars, but kids 12 and older can ride along in one of the tandem vehicles. Finally, my youngest was old enough to not just join in on the fun, but actually drive.
Driving the cars is simple. Everything is done via hands with controls around a Formula One type steering wheel, which made the boys feel like racecar drivers. Since they are electric, there is little noise, and no noxious smell. Although we did not see any wildlife on our trip, our guides said it isn’t unusual to sneak up on deer or other critters.
Spider Cars are Handicap Accessible
One of the coolest things about the Spider Car is that it is handicap accessible. The spider legs can swing out so wheelchair bound explorers can easily transfer into the car. In fact, it was accessibility that drew Banning Mills owners Mike and Donna Holder to the vehicles. As strong supporters of Wounded Warriors, the Holder’s were looking for something new for handicap veterans to do, and now we all are the beneficiaries.
Make it a Weekend at Banning Mills Adventure Park
We’ve already talked about some of the awesome things to do at Banning Mills Adventure Park, but did you know they also have cabins and treehouses? Yup. Read more about Lesli’s overnight at Banning Mills with her kids. And if you are interested in treehouses and other glamping options, we have a post on that too.