My brief review of GoApe: WHEEEEE!!!!!! (see my trip on the Tarzan Swing below)
I’ve been wanting to try out GoApe Zip Line & Treetop Adventure for a while now. My 13 year old son joined me and we had the best time! I highly encourage you to go, unless you have a big fear of heights and then I’d recommend you stay home.
There are five sections to this treetop adventure course which is up to 40 feet in the air. The first section is a low-to-the-ground practice course, which is really helpful. Each section starts with a rope ladder climb to a tree platform and ends with a zip line, then you walk to the next station and start again. A group goes out on the course every 60 minutes, so you all go through safety training together, and start out on the course together. The whole experience takes about three hours.
You wear a harness with three attachments: a trolley that glides on a thick cable the entire time you’re on a section of the course, a clip on a rope you take on and off the cable (unlike the trolley, it cannot glide over some connection points) and a secondary clip used in some areas of the course (ladders and Tarzan swing).
Before you go on the course an instructor explains all this, then lets you practice. If you’re not comfortable with anything at this point you can walk away and get a full refund.
At the first station you get to practice all the different connection types you’ll see on the rest of the course, but you’re only a few feet off the ground. This is very helpful!
After the first station it’s go time! Get attached, climb the ladder and get to it! There was an instructor in this area guiding us through things as it was still a little confusing at this point. By the end it’s second nature!
Once you’re up the ladder you’re walking (balancing), gliding or climbing (on a sideways rope net) from one tree to the next until you get to the end and zip line down to the ground. There is always a cable to grab if you’re concerned about balance.
There are a few spots where you can opt to take a more challenging path. The great thing here is that the destination is still the same, and it’s within the same area, so if you’re with people who want more or less of a challenge you still stay on the course together, and you get to watch each other.
The image below shows one of the places you can pick a more challenging option. Click on it to see it full sized. My son (orange hat) is opting to turn right and go on some ropes that move. You’re using your strength to hold on, and you have to detach your feet from one section, grab the next one and transfer yourself over. It’s hard! If you don’t want to do that you go straight.
At the end of each section is an awesome zip line! My son and I agreed this was the scariest part as you have to jump off the platform. Once you’re in the air it’s fun, but that first leap takes faith! Landing is easy as there is a giant pile of mulch and you slow down in it. Sometimes you land face forward, sometimes sideways and sometimes backwards. I landed backwards, on my butt, several times.
A long zip line over a creek (longest one is 425 feet):
Things you might want to have:
- Shoes with a solid sole that you don’t mind getting dirty. I wore sneakers with a thin sole and walking on those cables hurt a little. I should have worn my hiking shoes. My son also had on sneakers but his soles were thicker and he didn’t have this problem.
- A close-fitting bag for your phone, keys, etc. I have a small crossbody purse with a strap that adjusts, which was perfect. You’ll definitely want to snap a photo or two, and you might want to carry a small snack!
- Gloves – as they make grabbing ropes more comfortable (GoApe sells gloves if you don’t have an appropriate pair – I used my weightlifting gloves and my son used batting gloves).
Things you can do without:
- Water – there is a water station with cups at the beginning of each section.
- A bag – they can hold your keys or other items for you at the check-in area if you prefer.
- Sunglasses – the course is totally shaded, so you only get sun exposure on the zip lines.
- Go to the bathroom (inside the Retreat Center) before you get strapped into a harness! There are no bathrooms on the course.
- Plan on this taking three hours total, so pick a start time that will work well with your schedule and the weather conditions.
- Take your time if you’re not first in the group – there are bottlenecks so you’ll just end up waiting to start the next section if you finish quickly.
- Some people prefer to wear long shorts or pants due to the harness. I wore shorts without a problem.
- One adult can supervise two children, but if possible make that a one-to-one ratio! It can be stressful watching to make sure one kid is doing something correctly, while also being careful yourself.
- Don’t go if you’re afraid of heights.
Go Ape Treetop Adventures
Oak Point Nature Preserve, Plano
(prices are as of summer 2017)
Open March – December
Age 16+ $58, ages 10-15 $38
You must be 10 years old and at least 55″ tall to participate, maximum weight 285 pounds. One adult (18+) is required to supervise up to two 10-15 year olds.