Kids and parents can zoom through the woods and stroll some “treetop trails” high above the forest floor in a cool Oakland County zip line and ropes park.
The Adventure Park at West Bloomfield, one of several adventure parks nationwide, is the second in Michigan (it joined The Adventure Park at Frankenmuth, further north of metro Detroit). This first southeast Michigan location opened in April 2014 and is set on about five acres of land behind the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit. The 2016 season kicks off April 22, 2016.
Climbers of all ages, from kids and teens to grown-ups, can get active out in nature at this unique park, located at 6600 W. Maple Road. There’s a variety of tree platforms at varying heights, all connected by “crossings” – which are either “challenge bridges” or zip lines. A series of crossings are called a “treetop trail.” And there are 10 color-coded trails ranging from beginner (yellow) to advanced (double-black diamond).
Safety is a key priority. The entire time, you’re strapped into a harness that’s “doubly secured to safety cables,” and the experience kicks off with a “thorough orientation,” according to a company news release. But then? It’s all up to you, since the trails are “designed for self-discovery.” Don’t worry, though; park monitors are there to help if needed.
And it’s all designed with care for the trees, too: Cables and wedges affix all those platforms (vs. nails or bolts) to the trunks. And professional arborists are even involved in maintaining the trees’ health, the company notes.
In spring, summer and fall, hours vary from daylight into nighttime, when the park is “gently illuminated” with low-voltage, “tiny twinkling” LED lights. Be sure to ask about group and party options, too.
Tickets – which are $44/ages 12-plus, $39/ages 10-11, $34/ages 7-9 and free/ages 5-6 with adult – get you three hours of climb time. Reservations are required, and there is an additional $1 registration fee. You can now reserve your tickets online, a new feature for the 2016 season.
2016 hours are as follows, but always check ahead in case there have been any changes or updates:
- Spring season, April 22-June 12, 2016: 3-10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays and holidays, open Mondays-Thursdays for group appointments only.
- Summer season, June 13-Sept. 4, 2016: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays as well as Sundays and holidays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
- Fall season, Sept. 5-Nov. 13, 2016: 3 p.m.- 10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays and holidays, Mondays-Thursdays open for group appointments only
Always check ahead of your visit to make sure prices and times are still the same as those listed here. To learn more, from type of clothing you should wear to food available on-site, check out the FAQ section on The Adventure Park at West Bloomfield website. The Adventure Park at West Bloomfield is located at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, at 6600 W. Maple Road. Call 248-419-1550 to learn more.
Photo by Anthony Wellman
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2016.