Treetop Trekking’s New Zip Line and Aerial Game ParkThursday, August 29, 2013
A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I met up at Heart Lake Conservation Area for a complimentary Treetop Trekking experience. A well-known leader in treetop challenge games and zip line adventures in Eastern Canada, Treetop Trekking officially opened their newest aerial park in Brampton, Ontario earlier this month. Within the forested canopy of the conservation area, you will find six courses ranging in difficulty level from beginner to expert as well as two zip lines that cross right over Heart Lake, the longest zip line measuring at over 900 feet in length.
After gearing up, we joined a group of about a dozen or so adventure seekers for a training session, which everyone must pass before starting the first beginner course regardless of your level of experience. This includes learning how to properly use your carabiners and zip line trolleys, how to pull yourself up if you lose your footing, and how to make your way across the zip line. Then we headed off to the first beginner course - Chickadee!
The beginner courses were relatively close to the ground and the 'games' in between each platform were fairly easy. For a first-timer, it can still be intimidating, especially if you're afraid of heights. I had tried something similar last year when we had visited Blue Mountain Resort so I found it pretty easy yet fun.
After a series of log bridges, cable traverses, and balance logs, we came to a rope swing. While I tried to channel my inner Tarzan, I was grateful that the gap between the two platforms was small enough for me to just step across.
Moving on to the next level of intermediate courses, we found ourselves higher up amidst the trees and tackling longer, more difficult games.
This 'tunnel' kind of made me feel like a kid again.
Once we completed the first four courses, we decided to try out the zip line. You are only allotted three hours to try out the whole course so we didn't want to miss out on the zip line. To get there, you have to take a fifth course which is simply a series of ladders and bridges. A guide is there to greet you and outfit you with a pair of gloves, one of which is a thick leather pad you need to use as a break once you near the landing. The zip line takes you across Heart Lake and gives you a breathtaking view of the conservation area. I had tried the zip line at the Scenic Caves Adventure park earlier this summer and the breaking system was different. So I wasn't used to using a leather pad and misplaced it on the cable behind my trolley. Luckily, the first glove prevented any burns to my finger tips. Let's just say I learned my lesson and was more cautious on the second zip line back.
While there was little time left on our three-hour tour (cue Gilligan's Island theme song), the manager was kind enough to let me experience the last of the courses - an expert route high above the ground. My sister-in-law, who had her fair share on her first-ever treetop climbing experience, headed back home to Hamilton. So there I was, probably 50 feet off the ground, marveling Mother Nature from a an unparalleled vantage point.
Aside from the drastic increase in height, the games were also much more difficult making the challenge all the more enjoyable. What can I say? I love a good challenge!
Towards the end, I wasn't expecting to see a boat suspended in mid-air. And yet, there it was! In total, I was able to complete the entire aerial and zip line course in under four hours. Keep in mind that you start your tour at the same time as a number of other people. While you can attempt the courses in any order you want after the first beginner course, you might find yourself behind someone who is having trouble completing a game, which could eat into your time. Such was our experience. If you are looking to experience the thrill of the expert course, I suggest bypassing a beginner or intermediate course and then come back to it if you have time left.
Located only 30 minutes from downtown Toronto, this eco-adventure attraction is located at 10818 Heart Lake Rd, Brampton. The individual rate for youth age 9-11 is $46.90. For youth age 12-15, the rate is $51.33 and adults will need to pay $61.07. Luckily, if you plan on taking the whole family, you can enjoy savings if you have two or more adults and two or more youth (minimum 4 people). If you want to try the Great Blue Heron zip line only, the rate is only $22.12. Keep in mind you will still need to undergo the training session so be sure to account for the extra time in your schedule.
Disclosure: We received complimentary access to help facilitate this review. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.