Have you ever watched those competitions on Survivor and thought “Pfft, I could do that!”? Or how about those crazy obstacle courses on the game show Wipeout? Surely you’ve seen one of those two shows, where contestants become battered and bruised trying to make it from one end to another, failing more often than I fail at analogies…which, ironically, was a good analogy.
If you’ve ever seen yourself willing to attempt the courses on either of these game shows then you should check out one the most unique attractions in Asheville – the Asheville Treetops Adventure. The best part – totally safe and also face-plant free (unlike those game shows).
The Asheville Treetops Adventure Park
This past week, Adventure Center Asheville graciously hosted us, allowing us to experience their Treetops Adventure Park; moreover, we got to see what it would be like to be a contestant on Survivor (minus Tribal Council).
You’ll start with a helmet. Because safety first. Next, you’ll get harnessed in by one of the friendly and helpful Treetop Adventure staffers. Lastly, you’ll go through a quick orientation on how to use the “smart-beaners”. What’s a “smart-beaner”? It’s a double-beaner where one side stays locked and the other un-locked at all times. It sounds confusing at first, but once you start around the course it becomes quite simple to use. You’ll also undertsand quickly as to why they have them, remember, safety first at the Treetops Adventure.
After our brief debriefing we were off to explore the briefest of courses which is only slightly above ground a few feet. It’s designed for children from 4-7 years old to be able to participate in the fun, but it also acts a great starting point for beginners to get used to switching beaners from cable to cable and platform to platform.
We made quick work of the blue course and were ready to bring it up a level. Yellow course it was. Let’s rock this bad-boy then we’ll tackle the toughest – the red course. Bring it on yellow course!
Ok, maybe let’s re-do the beginner one for a break after that. Holy boy! The yellow course at Treetops Adventure totally served us up a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven slice of humble pie!
After the first two obstacles we came across the “stumps”. They were these small tree stumps suspended by rope that you had to step across. But each one you stepped on would swing and sway based on where (and at what speed) you stepped. Wow, what a balance workout. If you want to see for yourself check out our short video:
People say “don’t look down” when walking at heights, but here you have to, otherwise you’d have no idea where to step and you’d surely put your beaners to the test. Happily this never happened to us and we made it across, albeit slowly. And just when we thought the struggle was over we came to the rings, again challenging our balance, stability, and co-ordination. Once I got the hang of them it was smooth(er) sailing though.
We decided we needed a short break after the yellow course, so we went back down a notch to the green course. It was also a confidence booster so we could tackle the 2nd hardest – the orange course. Could we handle it?
We rocked it! But it was still challenging, and to add to that, at the very end of the orange course you have to jump about 30 feet down and rely on a “smart belay” to rappel you down. What’s a smart belay? Something you never want to become a “stupid belay”, especially when the smart belay is slowing lowering you to safety below after you take a leap of faith that it is, in fact, a smart belay.
At one point, we watched two pretty fit dudes struggling with the hardest course – the red course (or the ninja course as it was also referred to as). I probably could have made it through, just not before the sunset, it was 5pm you know, so, yeah…darn…can’t do the red course…sun was going to start setting any minute…honest. Okay we wussed out. Shut up. You would too if you saw how badly Hanz and Franz were struggling.
Truth be told, we ran out of time. Doing the blue, yellow, green, and orange courses took up our allotted two hours. It also took up our allotted energy for the day!
All kidding aside, I can see how kids would totally LOVE this place. Teens and adults too! This has to be one of the most fun of all the Asheville attractions. I felt like a kid, bouncing from rope to rope, tip-toeing a thin line of cable as I attempted to grab the next piece of rope, all without plummeting to certain death below. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, especially since as I mentioned, Treetops Adventure is all about safety. You can’t go from one cable to the next without being harnessed to the secure line.
If climbing cargo-netting, soaring from a suspended glider, walking tight-ropes, testing your physical stamina, or just generally having a good time isn’t your idea of – well – a good time, perhaps one of the many other Adventure Center activities is up your alley? Activities such as:
- The KOLO Bike Course
- Or maybe give the 1200 ft zip-line a try
- Try a QuickJump
- Or take a relaxing river boat ride (relaxing not included)
And get this, they do corporate outings (among other group outings)! How awesome would that be to take a day off and do some “team building” at a place like this?
BOSS: Hey, anyone want to go to Treetops Adventure for a team meeting?
BROWN-NOSING CO-WORKER: No thanks boss, I’d rather work really hard today while the sun is shining and the weather is absolutely perfect!
Who wouldn’t want to watch their company President scream like a baby as they zip-line high above the treetops. Or take your team on the red course of the Treetops Adventure and see how you motivate and help one another through an American Gladiator-like challenge (minus Nitro firing balls at you from behind a shielded platform). That sure would beat the whole “close your eyes and fall backwards and let your partner catch you” type of drills.
We didn’t get to check out any of the cabins or other accommodations, but let’s face it, if you’re staying here you’re not staying inside your cabin (or yurt, which are also available). Even if it rains you could have so much fun mountain biking, flinging up mud as you veer around corners and bends. But it’s good to know you can stay here because there’s SO much to do and SO little time! Another beauty of this place is it’s location. It’s just a few minutes drive to downtown and several other Asheville attractions.
Man, I think we’re going to have to make another trip to the Treetops Adventure before our time is up here in North Carolina! Better yet, anyone doing a corporate retreat? You can hire me to write stuff for your company…I’m great with analogies! Then again, we needed some R & R after this adventure, so stay tuned for Part II of our Asheville Adventure.
We’d like to thank Asheville Adventure Center for their amazing hospitality. If you would like to learn more about all the amazing and fun things you can do there, please check out the Asheville Adventure Center website, and follow them on:
Now go sell all your stuff and do something exciting this week!