'Treetop adventure course' to open in Wake County
Posted March 24, 2015
Updated March 26, 2015
What's being dubbed as the Triangle's first 'treetop adventure course' will open this weekend at a Wake County park.
Blue Jay Point County Park will be home to Go Ape, a course by a Maryland-based company that has built eight similar attractions across the country since 2010. Go Ape courses also are in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Williamsburg, Va. This is the company's first in North Carolina. It's designed for ages 10 and up.
The course was developed through a partnership with Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space and Go Ape. According to the company, the courses help drive revenue, visitors and improvements to the parks where they are located.
"We are very excited to lease a small portion of land in the park to Go Ape to provide this exciting adventure to our visitors," wrote Blue Jay Point park manager Deborah Robertson in an email.
At Go Ape, visitors will be able to "let out their inner Tarzan and live life adventurously" on a course that includes zip lines, swings and more, the company says. The course will add another reason to head up to the 236-acre park, which sits along the shore of Falls Lake. The park also offers playgrounds, a natural play area, an environmental education center and more.
The Go Ape course, which takes two to three hours to complete, features:
- five zip lines for a total of 2,590 feet of exhilaration;
- two Tarzan swings, a series of rope ladders, bridges, spider’s webs and trapezes; and
- 42 obstacles situated 40 feet up in the forest canopy
Go Ape paid for the construction of the course and will share revenue from ticket sales to Wake County parks. Last year, it provided more than $160,000 to the parks that it has partnered with around the country.
The company estimates that 70 percent to 90 percent of its guests will be new visitors to Blue Jay Point. Park partners typically see as much as a 25 percent increase in visitors once a Go Ape course opens, according to the company.
Go Ape also will participate in park cleanups and non-native invasive plant removal and donate free and discounted tickets to underserved and special needs groups. The company donated more than $620,000 in free and reduced-price tickets last year.
“We’re really proud of our ability to help support our park partners and the communities they serve,” said Managing Director Dan D’Agostino in a press release. “We also want our guests to know that when they buy a ticket to Go Ape, their money is going back into their local parks.”
The course caters to both small groups and individuals, along with corporate team building, youth groups and more.
The cost is $57 plus tax for ages 16 and up and $37 plus tax for ages 10 to 15. For a limited time, Go Ape is offering 10 percent off. Enter BLUGRND when booking through Go Ape's website. (As always, it will continue to be free to visit Blue Jay Point County Park).
Go Ape opens at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, with a ribbon cutting. If you plan on going, reservations are highly recommended.
Blue Jay Point County Park is at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd. in Raleigh.
It isn't the very first ropes course in the Triangle. Durham parks opened its Discovery Course in 2011. The course at Bethesda Park is designed primarily for group use and ages 7 and up. It includes a giant swing, a dual zip-line, and a 55-foot high crow’s nest.
Cary also has its Challenge Course at Bond Metro Park.