A new adventure outfit has made its headquarters in North Myrtle Beach’s Windy Hill neighborhood.
Trailblaze Adventures opened Thursday on the site of the old Corner Store at the 37th Ave. South and Ocean Boulevard intersection. It’s hard to miss: Little Spider Creations airbrushed the sides to look like pine siding and also built a colorful statue of a snow cone on top of several ice cubes.
“We’ve got a lot of people stopping by since we painted and cleaned up the inside saying ‘We love what you did, it was a big eyesore,’” said general manager Keats Rowell.
Keats and his dad, Van, opened the place after Van bought the former kayak tour business when he retired from Stars and Stripes magazine. The pair started offering their own kayak tours in April. Now, they’re expanding the business to a brick and mortar location and offer kayak, golf cart and bike rentals, among others.
Keats Rowell said the Windy Hill corner store was the best choice available to them.
“We were looking at some options off of [Highway] 17, but this had a beachfront location and it seemed liked the best option we had at the moment,” Rowell said, describing the place as an “all-around beach surf shop with rentals and tours.”
Trailblaze Adventures offers two kayak tours out of Cherry Grove: one through the Cherry Grove marsh and one to Waties Island and back.
The Cherry Grove marsh tour is at least 2 hours of paddling, Rowell said. The Waties Island tour involves a trip to the island, followed by at least an hour of exploring the island before paddling back.
Before Trailblaze Adventures, both Keats and Van were living in Germany. Van was working for Stars and Stripes magazine and Keats was a civilian supply contractor for the Army.
“Living in Europe, we used to do a lot of mountain bike tours through the Alps," Keats said. "We used to live in Key West as well; we did some kayaking and fishing down here. We’re kind of all-around outdoorsy guys. This specifically we hadn’t done before, but it seemed like something we could handle.”
Eventually, Keats said, they want to expand their business to offer more tours.
“We want to get paddleboard tours on the books, take people out to the Waccamaw,” Rowell said. “We want to add to our golf cart inventory. Basically, just grow it slowly, just get a good footprint in the area and make a good mark on the area.”
To contact them, visit www.trailblazeadventure.com or call 843-491-3192.
The Windy Hill store is typically open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.