It was early morning when our team pulled into the parking lot at Orlando Tree Trek, the fog was still burning off as the sun struggled to break through. We checked in and paired up with another small group for orientation. Walking out back I caught my first glimpse of the aerial courses. A series of rope nets, swings and wooden steps hanging from metal cables extended high above the ground tightly between large wooden poles.
Was I really expected to climb all the way up there? I wasn’t nervous before, but that quickly changed as I thought of walking across those obstacles so far away from the ground. It was at that moment that our guide for our adventure made his appearance.
Michael assured us that he had completed each of the courses many times and confidently walked us through the safety procedures and multiple actions we would be expected to perform on our own using the different clips on our harnesses. Afterwards, he took us over to a small demo course where we tested out our newly fitted harnesses on cables just a few feet off the ground. Having never done this before I thought it would take longer to get used to but after a few times using the magnetic clip system on the cable I quickly got the hang of it.
We approached our first course of the day and made out way to the top of the first platform. Each of the obstacles at Orlando Tree Trek have a provided safety cable above that we hooked onto using our harness. If at any point we made a mistake or lost our footing, the cable would hold us in place until we could continue. We clipped our harnesses to the cable and were presented with our first challenge, a series of wooden planks suspended between two cables. This was a great one to start out with as the planks were spaced fairly close together and walking across was pretty easy. The first few challenges boosted our confidence and slowly introduced us to new skills that we would be expected to use in later courses.
When we reached the end of the first course, we were eager to accept the challenge provided by the next one. Orlando Tree Tree has four adult courses, green, blue, silver and red. Each of the courses is progressively more difficult and as I found out, with platforms spaced further apart. Two kid courses are available as well with lower platforms and obstacles geared towards a younger age range.
We made it through the first three courses and surprising even ourselves, decided to try and conquer the most challenging red course. This last course used all of the skills we had learned from the previous courses and introduced a few new challenges including hoops and barrels. I found that crawling through multiple barrels suspended over twenty feet off the ground wasn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. After almost three hours of intense exercise, I was getting both physically and mentally exhausted. The final zip line signalling the end of the course was a welcome sight. We attached our harness to the cable and pushed off into the air reaching the last platform.
Orlando Tree Trek had pushed me way passed my normal level of exercise and I was happy for the experience. While I was sore for the next few days, I see myself returning in the near future.
Orlando Tree Trek additionally offers zip lining by itself if you’re not up to taking on the courses. Reservations can be made by contacting Orlando Tree Trek through their website at www.orlandotreetrek.com.
Thanks to Orlando Tree Trek for providing us with the opportunity to experience these courses.