Tree Top Adventures offer fun and challenging obstacle course and zip lines right outside Boston – 5 stars

Peter Pan can be quoted as saying “If growing up means it would be, beneath my dignity to climb a tree – I’ll never grow up.”  You can certainly express your inner child as you traverse the trees and climb the branches of Tree Top Adventures in Canton Massachusetts.  Touted as a zip line and climbing park, you will have ample opportunity to get your exercise in as you take on the physical challenges of the ropes courses and zip line across the forest.

Located at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Massachusetts, Tree Top Adventures offers a challenging obstacle course for ages 7 plus.  Children are encouraged to participate if accompanied by an adult.  When you arrive, you check in and then are given an instructional talk by one of the staff members on how the course works.  Later, you walk over to the forest and are given a harness plus safety equipment designed to ensure you never fall too far.  Next, you must take the practice course in which instructors show you exactly how to use your safety gear so that you enjoy a fun and safe journey as you climb.

When you enter the park, you immediately see what looks like the Ewok Village from Return of the Jedi.  You are in a forest with numerous platforms and rope bridges that span from tree to tree.  People are zipping from one side to the next or climbing across obstacles.  People of all ages and sizes appear to be participating.  It should be noted that this is physical activity that requires agility, balance and endurance.  If you are afraid of heights or you are physically impaired, then stick to the beginner courses.  If you are up for more, go to the intermediate or even the advanced.

All courses start from a single platform.  There are 4 levels of difficulty for the courses.  You would start with beginner, then move to intermediate and then advanced.  Above even those is the black diamond course that is the most extreme of difficulty.  As the difficulty rises, so does the height.  The beginner courses all start at the level of the platform.   The intermediate and advanced ones require that you climb a ladder to ascend to the upper trees. 

As you make your way through the obstacle course there is great variety.  You might need to cross a series of suspended balance beams.  Or you will crawl through barrels hanging from wires.  In a few places you have to climb through or along cargo nets.  Some obstacles move with your shifting weight while some are sturdier.  You might walk a tight rope like wire, or there may be a series of wooden beam swings you must step across.  This all seems nerve wracking but you are always connected to safety lines so you are never in real danger. 

Along with the obstacles there are many zip lines sprinkled in.  Once you get to one, you attach your runner to the line and launch yourself across.  Some courses have many and some only a few.  They are a welcome reprieve from the obstacles which require endurance and skill.  A zip line is a part where you can enjoy the ride as you coast along the tree tops.  They are sometimes short, or they are just long enough for you to enjoy the view as you soar through the forest.  They are a highlight of the course for certain.  Be aware that the bulk of the courses are obstacles.   

Similar to skiing, you are given a ticket with a time limit.  In two and half hours, at a moderate pace you could go through 6 courses, which is more than half of the 10 trails.  I personally did all three beginner trails as well as 3 of the 4 intermediate trails.  With no previous experience, I found this challenging and fun.  Future trips would warrant starting at intermediate as a warm up and perhaps a look to conquering the advanced trails.  The expert trail, labeled as a black diamond trail, would require a bit more experience to make a successful run. 

It is important to note how much safety is a primary concern of the staff and the park overall.  You are given great instructions from knowledgeable employees.  Many of the workers are standing by to help with any aspect of your journey.  Some help with getting your harness on, while others coach you from the ground with tips on how to navigate the obstacles.  For those that have had enough and feel the course is more than they can handle, there are rescue points that allow you to safely repel down to the ground.  You never feel like you are going alone, rather you have ample support from those around you.  You can even hire a personal guide to aid you going through your courses. 

Bring water and stay hydrated.  The park does have water dispensers in the forest, but if you go in the summer heat, expect to need lots of liquid.  They allow picnicking so feel free to bring your own lunch.  In fact large groups, schools, scouts, colleges, company outings and birthday parties are encouraged and they offer group rates.  Bring insect repellent, since you are in the woods.  Sunscreen is helpful even though you are mostly in the shade.  Some of us with Irish Heritage burn more easily even if the sun is limited.    Close toed shoes and gloves are also a requirement so bring those as well.

Noticeable above each course are a string of lights.  This is because they allow night climbing.  For some this might seem more difficult since one would be climbing at heights in a largely dark forest.  However, for those not wanting to see how high up they are, it might be beneficial.  It would be interesting to compare day and night climbing experiences. 

Tree Top adventures are a fun, challenging and ultimately exhausting experience.  In the days of video games and virtual reality, it’s nice to know you can get the kids out to do the kinds of things they may only see on a screen.  You can have a few exciting adventures that seem to only be reserved for movie stars and super heroes.  You can be a tomb raider, or an Ewok or an American ninja.  And just like Peter Pan, you can zip along the sky as you refuse to grow up.

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