Being scared is exciting. People love a spine chill. That’s why they watch scary movies, drive too fast, climb mountains, surf where sharks swim
and eat Mexican food even when they know it might end in heartburn. They enjoy moving past the fear of it to the excitement…or to the taste.
In any case, for some, heights are a frightening thing. To others, heights are a challenge. You get a nice combination of these feelings at Go Ape! right here in Plano. It’s an outdoor experience available to residents and out-of-city visitors that combines outdoor fun with heart-pounding exercise and a whopping adrenaline rush. The Go Ape Treetop Adventure is located in the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve in the east part of the city.
Go Ape! provides customers with at least two to three hours of a tree-canopy adventure that includes flying down-grade on zip lines,
swinging ‘ape-like’ through the trees, balancing like a tight-rope walker along thick rope bridges,clamoring up rope-nets, and peering out through the tree tops from high up viewing platforms. It’s quite an image of intricate rope contraptions tied and woven through the branches while visitors, dangling like ornaments, strive to maneuver from one area to the next.
It’s not as dangerous as it sounds. Guests are required to wear harnesses, pulleys, and carabiners (clips, swivels, and links) and to undergo 30-minutes of instruction about safety and equipment use. Instructors remain on patrol throughout the wooded site to provide aid when and where it’s needed. It’s a good idea to be physically fit for this kind of fun; however, if you can make it up a rope ladder, you’re on the way to handling the course!
Prefer to watch from the ground? If the exertion is too much because of age or weight or physical condition, or if the adventure simply doesn’t beckon you, there are trails weaving under the trees that allow you to keep an eye on your more adventuresome companions.
There are restrictions as to who can participate. Don’t let that stall you–restrictions are intended to keep us safe when we go adventuring. Here you are: the minimum age is 10 years, the minimum height is 4 feet 7 inches, and the maximum weight (subject to harness fit) is 285 pounds.
Also, one adult (18+) must supervise no more than two children aged 10 to 15 years. Teenagers 16 to 17 don’t require a supervisor, but must have a signed waiver by their legal guardian.
The Plano Go Ape! course has numerous rope ladders and 39 crossings that’ll stand your hair up! These include the Pirates Crossing, Fisherman’s Trap, Bosun’s Chair, two Tarzan swings and five zip lines. There are five sections to navigate, each leading you higher into the canopy.
The course finishes with a zooming zip line ride that will suck your breath away.
Finishing your treetop session doesn’t mean your day has to end. Once you climb down, the whole Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is all around you to enjoy. The Preserve covers over 800 acres and has 3.5 miles of paved trails and 5.0 miles of unpaved trails along Rowlett Creek. It’s Plano’s largest park. I’ll do a separate post about the Preserve later, with more details about its delights.
Go Ape! is located at 5901 Los Rios Boulevard. Depending on daylight hours, opening times vary, so reserve your visit in advance. Since it’s a month yet before Go Ape! opens for 2019, you’ll have plenty of time to check up on the hours ahead of time. Generally, the site is open on weekends and select weekdays from March to May, and again from September to December. However, if you go sometime during June to August when the leaves are at their fullest, it’s open every day.
Last but not least, I’ll offer the bad news about cost. It’s a fun few hours but it is expensive compared to some other outings. For ages 16 and over you’ll pay $59 per person to swing from the trees. Ages 10 to 15 are $39. Children under 10 are not allowed to climb. Still it’s a neat way to spend a few hours, so if you really look forward to zip lining, swinging, and climbing, you can save up for it. And it would be a great experience for your out-of-town visitors.
Go forth and have a swinging day!