Go Ape Treetop Adventure Opens a Junior Course in Raleigh

Now younger kids can soar through the trees


Published:

Courtesy of Carol Tunney/Go Ape

Zipping through the trees, soaring 20 feet up in the air and crossing rope bridges sounds like something from the latest “Tarzan” movie, but it’s not. You’ll find it all in Raleigh at the new Go Ape Treetop Junior Course, which opened in mid-July at Blue Jay Point County Park located off of Pleasant Union Church Road.

Go Ape’s junior course is the newest addition to its adventure course offerings that opened there in March 2015, making it only the third junior course to open in the country. I took my two boys, Holden, age 6, and Hayes, age 4, to experience the course, and they are still talking about it weeks later.

The Harness

The Go Ape Junior Course is designed for children ages 6-12 but is open to kids and adults of all ages who are 3-feet-3-inches or taller. Before heading to the trees, a guide will fit you in a harness that goes around your waist and through your legs to ensure your safety while you swing through the trees. A trolley is connected to the harness, and a qualified guide will connect your trolley to the safety lines to ensure you are attached throughout your entire adventure. This was especially important to me because the kids didn’t have to move the safety lines, and weren’t detached from them until they completed the course.

Pictured above: Hayes, age 6, and Holden, age 4, get harnessed up to enjoy the new Go Ape Junior Course in Raleigh.

Photos above and below courtesy of Michele Jonczak​

 

The Courses

Once all of your equipment is in place, the fun really begins. Start your adventure in the trees on one of two courses. Loop 1 is designated as easy and Loop 2 is moderate, offering a little more challenge. We put our strength and balance to the test as we experienced 20 tree-to-tree crossings and obstacles, such as rope bridges, swinging bridges and rope ladders. Then to top it off, we got to take a ride down two separate zip lines. This was, by far, Hayes’ favorite part!

Holden found Loop 2 to be pretty challenging, and was hesitant on some of the crossings, especially those that swung with every step. But at the end he said, “My favorite thing was the harder course. Even though I was scared, I knew I could do it.”

 

The Payoff

Chip Schlegel, site manager for Go Ape at Blue Jay Point County Park, says by opening the junior course in Raleigh, they are providing a unique outdoor recreational opportunity for a wider range of age groups. “It’s a junior version of the big course,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to get off of the ground, up in the trees and on the zip line.”

Jennifer Smetana of Raleigh took her 11-year-old daughter, Abby, to experience the treetop adventure. “It’s more than just zip lining – it gives them the opportunity to try the adventure course,” Smetana says. “Plus, I like the idea that in the heat of the summer, it’s canopied.”

The Junior Course is open March through December from sun up to sun down. For safety purposes, one adult must accompany up to two children under age 6, and children ages 6-15 must be supervised by an adult from either the course or from the ground. To book your visit, go to www.goape.com. Tickets are $28 per person (for kids and adults).

Pictured above: Hayes (top) and Holden (bottom) crossed challenging courses high above and lower to the ground.

 

Michele Jonczak is a freelance writer from Raleigh, and mom to Holden (6), Hayes (4), and Emery (2). 

 

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Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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