It’s a point of view that takes your breath away: up to to 60 feet off the ground.
It is the new and unique Tree to Tree Adventure Park set in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range in Western Washington County.
The 57-acre forested parkland is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced off the ground.
You might consider it a playground in the trees.
Marissa Doyle, co-manager of the of the new park, said, “You will feel like a kid again when going through this course. We have tunnels and bridges and Tarzan-like ropes …all sorts of fun stuff built for adults to play up in the trees.”
Instructor George Bidiman guides folks across the four different tree-to-tree courses – each course is progressively more challenging and he helps people find steady steps on a shaky trail or across a swinging, swaying wobbly way.
Bidiman said, “It is flat-out freedom up in the air and probably the closest thing you can get to flying outside of an airplane.”
Each climber must wear a safety harness that connects with two lanyards that sport lobster-claw type clips that link you to thick wire cables.
Each cable can hold up to 10,000 pounds, so once you’re clipped in - you’re not going anywhere except across the aerial trail.
The new Tree-to-Tree Park is a family-owned business that is brainchild of Co-Owners and Managers, Doyle and Molly Beres.
Molly hopes that the park’s location (a short drive from Scoggins Valley Park and Henry Hagg Lake) will attract a following once they have discovered the park’s unique features.
“Portland is the best place for this sort of thing because there are so many outdoorsy people here. Everyone likes to be outside doing active things and extreme sports and this will fit in just fine.”
Doyle added, “People come to Hagg Lake to hike, to bike, to rent boats – to be outside and just enjoy nature. We’re an extension for those kinds of activities and yet we offer a unique experience outside of the normal fishing, boating and hiking activities that are that so popular at the lake.
Doyle added that the new business also offers a course for youngsters. The course offers the same elements as the adult version but it is much closer to the ground.
The course admission isn’t based on age – but on height – that is, with your arms extended overhead you must be able to reach 6 feet, 6 inches to play on the full-sized course after you’ve passed the Basic Training Course.
If a youngster is unable to reach 6’, 6” but can reach at least 5’ with their arms extended, he or she can play on the smaller course.
The park’s many course features are called “elements” and range from simple swaying bridges to horizontal rock walls and tunnels that you must climb across or climb through so to continue the course.
Many participants agreed that the climbing experience felt safe despite the 50-foot elevation and that it is an experience full of surprises:
First timer Leah Perkins noted, “I was worried at first that I’d be a little too old and out of shape to make it – but I must say that I felt like I really got something done out here – I made it through and didn’t fall once.”
Perkins’s friend, Mary Higley, said that each element is unique and challenging and left her with a distinct feeling of accomplishment:
“A couple of times I had my feet get out in front of me a little bit, so I really had to use my arm strength to get back up – plus, the sway of the platforms can be a little frightening, but I’d definitely do it again. It was a lot of fun.”
Instructor Bidiman added that everyone who has completed the course since it opened this spring has left with a huge smile: “Everyone’s having a great time – they come for the challenge but also the fun of feeling like a kid again and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
That feeling never lets up on the course either – it’s surpassed only by the thrilling payoff that waits for each climber at the end.
“We end every course with a zip line and so it’s the payoff for your hard work because everybody loves a zip,” noted a smiling Beres.
“Our whole purpose is to be outdoors, enjoy nature and enjoy Oregon – just loving where you are – up in the trees.”