Young kids and novices can now enjoy the thrill and challenge of Go Ape with the opening of its Treetop Journey course at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The new aerial obstacle course (not to be confused with the existing Treetop Adventure course that opened in 2014) is more introductory in nature and features 22 obstacles and two ziplines. The highest platform is 25 feet off the ground.
“The ziplines are fun, and that’s how you get back down to the ground,” said Chris Farrar, senior site manager, “but the loops are the real challenge.”
The Treetop Journey course consists of three loops with suspended bridges and balance obstacles that get progressively harder: “Loop one is for beginners and is easy and stable,” said Farrar. “The second loop has a few more hanging elements. The third loop has the least handholds and is the most challenging.” All loops begin and end at a central hub platform.
Participants are protected the entire time they are on the course by a continuous belay system that is put on by a Go Ape instructor. (This differs from the Treetop Adventure course, in which the belay system is managed by the participant, who must connect and disconnect the equipment between obstacles.)
Other differences from the existing course are reduced age and height requirements (see box for details). Adults are not required to accompany kids over 5 into the trees and can instead supervise from the ground; this makes birthday parties and other special events easier to manage as well as cheaper, since earthbound adults do not need to pay.
“You can have the whole family out here,” said Farrar. “[The Treetop Journey course] opens access to new participants, which is important to us at Go Ape. We had a 3-year-old here the other day.”
The ticket price for the new course is $29.95, which allows for one hour of climbing. “You can repeat the same loop multiple times or try all of them in an hour,” said Farrar. “It’s a little more of a choose-your-own-adventure feel than with our Treetop Adventure course, where you do each obstacle once from start to finish.”
The new Treetop Journey course is available at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, 13219 Streetcar Drive. Learn more at goape.com/location/missouri-st-louis.
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.