Tree top trekking is very popular these days as an outdoor adventure exercise....and let me confirm that it is definitely a workout!
We have a preschooler so we can't do the harness systems yet which is why for our first experience we chose the Treewalk Village in Stouffville, Ontario. Reservations are highly recommended as they can reach capacity quite quickly.
Our experience lasted two hours and was timed by the staff (they keep it under capacity this way). I think at 3.5yrs old it was the perfect age for our independent explorer.
The Treewalk Village is a bit pricey at $19.99* per participant ages 3-17yrs old (under 3yrs old and over 65yrs old are FREE). Adults are $7.99* each to either lounge around down below or join the kids in the climbing and exploration. We recommend you try at least one trek through the tree forts and suspended rope bridges, even if it's just for a photo op! You are allowed to bring your own food and backpacks with you into the Treewalk Village as there are plenty of benches and loads of picnic tables to eat your lunch or snacks at. We had a morning reservation and left our lunch in the car to make the most of our time in the tree tops. Each reservation lasts 2hrs (so unfortunately the cost is NOT a day pass) as they need to stick within their capacity limits, which makes sense. I know this place isn't in Durham Region exactly, but it is one of the few that offer fun for the younger kids too without being subjected to helmet, harness, and minimum height restrictions. Another cousin did the actual obstacle course here (took 3 hrs and cost a lot more...you can find the details here).
Why should you go to a tree top trek?
- Because they're fun, challenging and a great workout!
- The 7 elements of play series says climbing helps kids learn motor skills and control, and balancing helps with body awareness and coordination
- Adults benefit from practicing and honing their climbing and balancing skills too! Keeping a good balance training routine for adults will help prevent balance issues as we age (which in turn helps to prevent falls) source: www.heart.org If we include climbing in our training routines we benefit from toning muscles, working on flexibility, improving mental problem solving skills, and getting a little cardio in too. source: www.huffingtonpost.ca with other cited references
Keep reading after the photos for tips on what to bring, what to wear, and where to go on other adventures in the trees in Ontario.
- good closed toe shoes (runners with good grip)
- weather appropriate comfortable clothes that aren't loose (especially for those going into a harness)
- bug spray (sunscreen wasn't really required as it is under the shaded tree canopy of Bruce Mills Conservation and it was a low index day for us)
- gloves (if you're doing the obstacle course runs)
- water and plenty of snacks or lunch to eat before, during, and/or afterwards (we had a picnic after)
Places to go for tree top trekking adventures;
- Treewalk Village / Treetop Trekking in Stouffville (this is the one we did) they also have locations in Barrie, Brampton, Ganaraska, and Huntsville as well as locations in Quebec http://treetoptrekking.com/en/
- Treetop Eco-Adventure Park in Oshawa
- Wildplay Whirlpool Adventure Course in Niagara Falls
- Scenic Caves Course in Blue Mountain
- Skywood Eco Adventure in Mallorytown (just East of Kingston, and they also have a Treewalk Village for kids but it starts at ages 3yrs and up)
- Boler Mountain in London
- Long Point Eco-Adventures in St. Williams (by Turkey Point)
- Treetop Adventures in Goulais River (just North of Sault Ste. Marie)
Do you have any other favourite places in Ontario to balance and climb at?