As a division of Wildwater, Ltd., with 50+ years of leadership and expertise, The Adventure Center of Asheville benefits from long-standing experience and standard-setting leadership in the outdoor adventure industry. Canopy Rangers and Park Rangers participate in an extensive 40+ hours of leadership, service, interpretive, and technical skills training conducted by a combination of our top team trainers and outside experts guided by the standards and directives of the ACCT.
The Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) is the largest and most widely accepted standards and procedures organization for zipline and adventure park construction, operations, and training in the US. In addition to high level rescue and evacuation training, Rangers are guided through detailed scenarios of “soft skills” that will help them assist our valued Guests in creating an educational and supportive environment for growth and success as they challenge their fears or expand their comfort zones. Rangers develop a clear understanding of both supporting and encouraging success. These soft skills are what set us apart as an experience vs. just an adrenaline ride. Our goal as Rangers is to send each guest away with a better sense of themselves and their surroundings. Adventure and fun is our goal.
Wildwater, the original professional adventure outfitter in the SE, opened in 1971. It was founded by the Greiner family who remain the owners and operators of the company today. Three generations of the Greiners now lead and train the best adventure professionals in the industry. Today Wildwater continues to offer whitewater rafting adventures on the top river destinations in the Blue Ridge and Smokies but also lead the way in the southeast in offering tree based adventures such as zipline canopy tours. Second generation family members and respected industry partners developed the first zipline canopy tour in the Nantahala Gorge area of Western NC and then continued to grow. Jeff Greiner, opened the Adventure Center of Asheville as a sister company to Wildwater. Wildwater/ACA now have a total of 5 locations in Asheville, NC, on the Pigeon River (NC/TN), on the Nantahala River (NC), on the Ocoee River (TN) and the Chattooga River (SC/GA).
The same dedication to the Guest experience and quality service ethic that defined Wildwater has carried over to all locations and activities. As a family, with families, serving families… the Greiners and their dedicated team of River Guides, Canopy Rangers, Park Rangers, Bike Experts, Camp & Office Staff all seek to assure ever Guest’s experience is designed to provide “The Best Day Ever!”
Managing owner, Jeff Greiner and his family have grown up in the outdoor adventure industry. In 1971 Jeff’s parents started the first whitewater rafting business (Wildwater, Ltd.) in the Southeast U.S. on the Chattooga River. That small family business has grown into one of the largest and most respected professional outfitters in the United States.
The Greiner’s have been involved in setting industry standards for the outdoor adventure industry for over 50 years including river and forest protection standards for outfitters. The family also helped form the eastern and then national professional outfitters association (America Outdoors Association) created to foster awareness, education, development, and growth management for professional guiding services on public and private lands across the country. Jeff served on the national Board of Directors of AOA for over 10 years.
Growing up on the Chattooga River and learning the family business, Jeff loved sharing the beauty and adventure of the outdoors with Wildwater guests. In 2006, being the President of Wildwater Ltd.’s four locations on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, and Pigeon Rivers, Jeff had a dream to bring outdoor adventure to Asheville city limits in 2011. Under Jeff’s direction, ACA has grown from a few ziplines to a family adventure destination with many different activities and with over 250,000 visitors.
Jeff has over 25 years’ experience as a professional ropes, zipline, and aerial adventure guide, trainer, manager, and owner/operator. Jeff has been ACCT certified CCM (Challenge Course Manager) with a special emphasis on zipline operations and management.
Living in Asheville, Jeff and his wife, Sheena, have three children that love hiking, camping, paddling, skiing/boarding, and sharing anything related to the great outdoors.
Chad graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After graduating from college he began his career in outdoor recreation and experiential education, working as a challenge course (“ropes course”) leader and facilitator on St. Simons Island, GA.
In 2001 he began working for a challenge course builder, Challenge Design Innovations, as a trainer, builder, and inspector. He spent several years traveling around the country inspecting zip lines and obstacle courses while also training team members to safely operate those courses.
In 2006, Chad became manager and eventually owner of the challenge course in St. Simons. The company, Peak Pursuits Inc. is an adventure-based team-building program provider. In February of 2015, he moved to Asheville to be closer to his family and pursued interests in outdoor recreation.
Chad has worked at ACA as a zipline ranger and trainer, team building facilitator, and currently as General Manager.
Chad chose ACA as his new home because of the family atmosphere and the wide variety of aerial and team building adventures offered. Asheville has proven to be the perfect place to feed his other passions such as hiking, camping, and bluegrass music.
Callie is originally from Georgia where she grew up regularly camping with her family and spending free time outside. Her undergraduate degree is in Outdoor Education from Young Harris College.
She has worked for over 10 years in a variety of different outdoor fields from being a Naturalist and Camp Director at Elachee Nature Center; a Customer Service Specialist at REI; and a Lead Instructor and Adventure Coordinator at Kanuga Conference Center.
Earning a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Montreat College, her thesis research was based on recreational tree climbing and the effects of youths’ affinity for nature.
Callie joined the Adventure Center of Asheville as part of the Ranger Team and a team-building facilitator and now is Assistant General Manager. She loves teaching science and creating fun adventure experiences that connect people to the natural world around them.
Eric grew up in Charleston, SC, and traded the sand and salt of the beach for the freshwater and rocks of the mountains.
Eric has been working and playing in the outdoor industry for over a decade. He attended college at North Greenville University in Greenville, SC where he earned a B.S. in Outdoor Education and Leadership in 2015. From 2016-2018, his career led him to teach Environmental Education at Mountain Trail Outdoor School in Hendersonville, NC where he was a primary leader for all of their high adventure activities including off-site climbing.
In 2020, Eric earned a M.S. Ed. in Outdoor Education from Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, TN. There he worked as a Graduate Assistant leading climbing, horizontal and vertical caving trips and was a facilitator on their Odyssey and high ropes course.
He has spent the summers, working at outdoor camps leading backpacking, climbing, canoeing, and high adventure experiences for all ages in Ontario, Canada, and Asheville, NC.
Eric has also been facilitating Low Ropes and Team Building activities since he began working in Experiential Education in 2011. He joined the Adventure Center of Asheville as a Guide in 2020 and was promoted to Asheville Treetops Adventure Park as Manager at the beginning of 2021.
Danielle joined the Kolo Bike Park family in the spring of 2018 as a Kolo Summer Camp Counselor. In 2019, Danielle officially became the Director of Kolo Summer Camp. Since then, her passion to get kids AND keep kids on bikes year-round led to creating a 10-month Kolo Bike Park young riders instruction program which includes Spring & Fall Saturday Shred Sessions, Kolo Afterschool Bike Club for 2 age groups, and 2 Summer Camps: Kolo Kiddie Camp & Kolo Bike Camp all summer long.
Danielle’s experience on bikes goes back to her childhood. Her family was active in the sport of BMX racing at their local track, St Peter’s BMX. Her persistence and competitive spirit led her to 2 Missouri State Championships in 1999 and 2000.
Off the track and trail, Danielle earned her Cosmetology license in 2005, the year after her daughter Kaidynce was born. With a career in hair and makeup, she then owned her own salon, Color Couture, for 8 years. Currently, she works at Beauty Parade in West Asheville, where they were awarded Best Wedding Hair and Makeup by a local magazine in 2020.
In the last 5 years her love for Mountain Biking has led Danielle to some amazing places, and finally to Asheville, and to Kolo, where she goes above and beyond to make sure the camp programs run smoothly and safely, and most importantly, fun!
Lauren joined the Adventure Center of Asheville in 2020 in many roles, and now oversees The Spring Break and Summer Adventure Camps, Adventure Afterschool, visiting school groups, and other youth-related programming at ACA.
Lauren is from Virginia, and grew up exploring her backyard and creeks as much as possible. Starting as a Counselor in Training for a Scouts BSA camp in 2008, she has been working at camps for over 12 years, serving as Camp Director for 4 of those years.
After earning her B.S. in Environmental Science from George Mason University and interning for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute for Forest Ecology, Lauren wanted to merge her passion for the natural world with working with youth through outdoor education.
Lauren started as an Instructor at Mountain Trail Outdoor School in North Carolina, eventually serving as the Program Director. There she collaborated with school groups and teachers to develop goals and schedules for their students to ensure a positive outdoor learning experiences. And when she was lucky, still got to teach about the wonderful world around us!
Moving to Western North Carolina has allowed Lauren to enjoy all her favorite things: backpacking, river floating, bluegrass music, and a great sense of community and connection.
Sarah joined the Adventure Center of Asheville in 2014 as the group sales coordinator. A native of Asheville, Sarah has worked in the tourism industry with hotels, attractions and as a marketing consultant in WNC for 21 years. Currently, at the Adventure Center of Asheville, Sarah books youth and adult groups in Asheville and for those who want a “wilderness” adventure at the Wildwater, Ltd. Pigeon and Nantahala River locations.
Groups include homeschool, scouts, school and church groups, corporate groups, family reunions, clubs and organizations, sports teams, camps, associations, tour groups and birthday parties. The Adventure Center of Asheville is the perfect place for teambuilding, experiential field trips, picnics or retreats, office outings, and just a great way to get outdoors in a challenging atmosphere. “Since we are locally and family owned and are open all year, we can accommodate almost any group and their “special occasion” with a truly “Asheville” adventure.”
Sarah spends time with her husband, two boys and dogs enjoying all the wonderful activities, culture, entertainment and “foodtopian” options in Western North Carolina.
Sarah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.450.3400.
The Adventure Center of Asheville is located adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Resort at 85 Expo Drive in Asheville.
Take Exit 3A off of I-240 | Off Patton Ave behind Regent Park