Hello. My name is Karon, and I am an outdoor adventure addict. Skydiving, parasailing, hiking, waterskiing, hot air ballooning, biking, rappelling, climbing – I’ve tried them all and keep looking for the next challenge. I especially love the latest eco-tourism adventure of ropes courses. I love climbing through the trees, conquering each challenge high up in the air. So when I saw a video for Tree Tops Ropes Course in Sevierville, Tenn., on a friend’s Facebook page, I knew I had to check it out.
My daughter also loves ropes courses, so I was thrilled and excited that she could join me on this adventure. In a matter of weeks, the trip was booked, and my family and I headed to Sevierville. Upon arrival, I discovered that Tree Tops Ropes Course is actually a part of Adventure Park at Five Oaks. In addition to the ropes course, Adventure Park at Five Oaks also offers a zip lining course and horseback riding. While my daughter and I prepared for the ropes course, my husband decided to take a horseback ride with my son, and they set off for a one-hour journey through the site’s 70-acre nature park.
Back at Tree Tops Ropes Course, I learned that there are actually two courses: an adult course and a junior course. The junior course for kids ages 8 to 11 is a great first course for children who have never done a ropes course before, especially those who may be wary of heights. The 15 elements that make up the course are not far off the ground, and parents along with the ropes course guide can walk along with the children as they go through the course.
My daughter took to this course as if she were born to it; she completed it twice before we even headed out for the adult course. Needless to say, she was clamoring to get started on the larger, higher course. The adult course contains 50 elements, including zip lines. Since I have wanted my daughter to try zip lines for a while, this was a great place to try it, because the guests can actually zip tandem with the guides.
Therefore, when we reached the first zip line, the guide – Natalie – hooked up my daughter to her harness and off they went. And, like me, my daughter was instantly hooked. She actually completed the next two zip lines on her own. However, when we reached the last two, which were two of the longest on course, my daughter was ready to ride with Natalie once more.
As for my experience through the Tree Tops Ropes Course, overall I really enjoyed it. The course contains several challenging elements that I have never encountered before – swinging log bridges (they move more than you expect them to!), an in-air “skateboard,” and a “rope swing” – but they were fun to conquer. Also, once the guides show you how to use the equipment and explain the safety rules, it’s a bit of a do-it-yourself experience, meaning you can go at your own pace. The guides stay with your group, but move among the guests to assist when needed. I like this because my daughter and I were not held back by those who needed more time to complete an element.
Along the way, though, I had a love/hate relationship with the cable system that keeps you securely attached to the cables. It works with a magnet system that is, at first, difficult to master and can cause some problems along the way. My daughter, however, had no such problem with it. Also, I thoroughly disliked the automatic zip brake that slows you down at the end of a zip line. As mentioned earlier, because the guides may not be with you when you zip, the brake catches you so you land safely; however, it was not something I was accustomed to, and I had some trouble adapting to it.
When all is said and done, my daughter and I had a great time playing in the Tree Tops Ropes Course, and we hope to visit again on a future trip to Sevierville. If you have the opportunity to explore Tree Tops Ropes Course, I’d love to know what you think about it, so let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: Karon and her daughter explored Tree Tops Ropes Course as guests of the attraction. Her husband and son partook in a horseback ride at their own expense. All opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author.