Think back to the days where you were young and climbing trees, rocks and things alike was a normal course of action in one's day. It was the thrill of the climb that we all did it for and more often than not, someone "fell out of the tree!" As I get older, I am no longer climbing trees (though I am now running up paths and hiking to some extent) or rocks on a regular basis but when I get the opportunity to climb along the rocks at Nubble Light in York ME or FT Williams in South Portland, ME, it generally fun. So as myself and my 7 year old daughter ventured to Cranmore Mountain on Saturday, I was wondering what the "Aerial Adventure Park" was all about…would there be a thrill with this tree adventure? Well, I can tell you it indeed was!
For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, the Cranmore Aerial Adventure park is “an aerial forest ropes course consisting of 5 individual, elevated courses for different ability levels consisting of dozens of elements that will challenge you to new heights” (from the Cranmore site). They have five courses on their website (Orange being the easiest, Black being the most difficult) and on these courses you cross on thin wires, fly through the year on zip lines, bound up rope ladders and scale some other obstacles, all awhile weaving through the trees with a harness – which has you connected to the course at all times (ie one is supposed to be hooked to a line at all times so you don’t tumble off the platforms or the obstacles).With the seven year old in tow, we hit the orange course.
So what was the experience of an easy level? Well, I can say that at first it was kind of “wobbly” so to speak as I had to go along a thin metal wire. Funny thing though – the “experienced” 7 year old went across this without a problem and basically taunted me to do the same! Much of the rest of the 2 hour move through the trees, which included similar moves on thin wires, wobbly bridges and a small zip line (which my daughter loved by the way), was more of a breeze so to speak as I got accustomed to the movement of the obstacles. By the end, instead of 2 hands on the wires to keep her steady, she was using one as she was so confident of her ability to cross the obstacles.
So as I said in the opening paragraph, summarizing our day, it was a thrill. Yes, the course was easy but you have to start somewhere, right? Next summer when we head back to this park, the two of us will be attempting harder levels. The height of the obstacles and platforms for Orange was around 10 feet at the most and it is a good “tutorial” for what occurs at higher levels. The instructors give a great rundown before you venture up the hill to the park and the harness is pretty secure (at least from my perspective). The harnesses are always attached to the tree as one end is always locked. I suppose one could finagle it so that nothing is attached but that is not advisable! Overall, this is indeed geared for kids and in each case, you can help the young one’s with the obstacles. Higher up, it gets more challenging!
Besides hitting the aerial park this day, the kids also did the same rides we wrote about back in August. Nothing new to really report there! I avoided the big swing as it slammed me into a motion sickness spiral back then and the family we were with shared similar sentiments (so if you have motion sickness issues, seriously consider skipping the giant swing). The kids did the zipline this time around and said it was great. Also my son loved the tube ride (especially with the water shut off on the sides so we don’t get wet when we fly by). The one negative we encountered was the bouncy house obstacle course was all wet – on a 55 degree day in full clothes, this is not exactly ideal. My son was a bit annoyed though some bouncing on the bunge trampoline ended that annoyance. And as I mentioned in the previous note on this place, the food is very good. The burger (on a gluten free bun) and the chips they have are great and the kids liked the pizza. Next year we will be heading back.
from the Author
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