Zip lining, free falling and leaping off elevated platforms in trees. This summer there’s an aerial adventure to be had in Michigan.
Earlier this month, Adventure Park opened in West Bloomfield, MI. The park features 10 aerial treetop trails and about 110 platforms with difficulties ranging from beginner to intermediate.
“Everyone starts out on an introductory trail and then they literally and figuratively work their way up (to more advanced courses),” said Anthony Wellman, director of communications for Adventure Park. “It’s designed so you don’t have to have someone climbing with you; it’s designed for self-discovery.”
Adventure Park in West Bloomfield is one of two climbing parks in MI, and is twice as big as the second park located in Frankenmuth. The park’s design is eco-friendly that allows for obstacles to grow with the habitat. Cables wrapped around wooden wedges keep obstacles and platforms in place causing no harm to the trees. The concept is that it remains self-sustaining with no generators or gas needed to run the park; all that is required is a small amount of electricity for lights strung up in the trees during night climbing.
From firsthand experience, the park is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The staff walks you through everything on a practice course before letting you onto the actual course. You’re taught how to lock in your cables, use your zip line and transfer from course to course. Once you’re done being briefed on proper practices for climbing, you’re on your own…well not completely on your own. If you’re ever in trouble, just yell out “STAFF!” and someone will come to your aid. But for the most part, it’s you and the trees spending some quality climb time together.
Tickets to the park run anywhere from $29 – $50 for a three hour climb. For first time climbers like myself, there’s no shame in getting acclimated on the courses suitable for 7 to 9 year olds to get your rhythm. You’ll want to be well adjusted to how you move in the trees if you plan on graduating to the black or double black diamond course (which I hear even some of the more experienced climbers struggle with). Don’t feel obligated to go any higher than you’re comfortable. You’re able to go on any of the courses as much as you want (as long as you’ve graduated to that course).
Stay safe and pleasant climbing.
For more information, visit www.westbloomfieldtrees.org