Take an exhilarating climb through the trees at the newest Go Ape! location at South Run Park in Springfield, Virginia. The course, which opened this past month in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority, is the perfect way to spend time with your family, scout group or on your own.
On a chilly spring day, my sister and I tested out the Treetop Junior Adventure to see what it would be like for our children to go climb.
Start out your journey by completing your waiver/paperwork (allot at least 10-15 minutes for this process), then you’ll get equipped with your safety gear and go through a 20-30 minute safety briefing. Our guides were spot-on, answering questions professionally and getting us set up in a timely manner.
The Treetop Junior course is situated in the middle of the Go Ape Adventure Park and is a 1 to 1 1/2 hour experience available to anyone who is at least 3 ft. 3 in (39 inches). There is a maximum weight of 285 lbs (subject to harness fit).
There are 20 obstacles and 2 zip lines so your whole family will have fun exploring and challenging yourself. What is unique about Go Ape! and the Treetop Junior Adventure is that the safety systems stay attached the entire time you’re in the trees, so kids won’t have to move safety lines, unlike on the Treetop Adventure.
During our hour on the course, we were challenged with navigating shaky tree-to-tree crossings, climbing through cargo nets and up ladders and zooming down zip lines.
I appreciated the helpful signs that were posted on each obstacle which gave hints on how to get through, plus various safety reminders (i.e. 1 person can cross at a time, etc.). I also felt safe throughout our adventure as there were plenty of qualified instructors on the course patrolling and if we ever had trouble or just a question they were available.
For kids 10 and up (minimum height 4 ft 7 in), the Treetop Adventure is the way to go. You’ll need to allocate 2-3 hours for this experience as there are so many obstacles, zip lines and crossings to conquer.
We didn’t get to try this section of the park, simply due to time commitments but I know my teen daughters will be up for the challenge, so we will be visiting this summer.
Add a visit to Go Ape! to your bucket list this summer. While it may be a splurge, it’s well worth it!
- Treetop Junior admission is $28 for ages 18+, $28 for ages 6 and under and 6 to 17 and $25 for ages 16 and 17. For every two children under 6 an adult (ages 18+) must participate to supervise, although it is recommended one adult per one child on your first visit. Participating adults may NOT supervise from the ground. For every eight 6 to 15 year olds, one adult (ages 18+) may either participate on the course (paying) or supervise from the ground at no charge. 16 and 17 year olds simply need a waiver signed by their legal guardian.
- Treetop Adventure admission is $38 for ages 10 to 15; $58 for ages 16 and up. Participating adults may NOT supervise from the ground. 16 and 17 year olds need a waiver signed by their legal guardian, they do not require a participating adult. For every two 10 to 15 year olds, there needs to be one participating adult (18+). You have to be up on the cours
- Be sure to use the restroom (located in the South Run Rec Center) before you get into your harness. You can certainly use the restroom during your visit, but you will need to remove the harness and then get re-checked before heading back onto your course.
- I think gloves are an important part of being on an adventure course. Be sure to either bring gloves or you can purchase them at Go Ape!
- Dress appropriately – that means wearing clothes that make sense for adventure and weather. Shoes should be closed toe and flat.
- Book your time slot in advance, online.
- Sign up for their email newsletter for the latest Go Ape news. Sometimes they offer discounts!
- All of Go Ape’s courses are designed to minimize impact on the environment, which we appreciate. Trees are inspected annually by independent arborists.
Disclosure: Our Kids received two complimentary admissions to try out Treetop Junior. Rest assured, I only promote activities and businesses that I believe in and think would be of interest to Our Kids readers.