KidsOutAndAbout Reviews GoApe! Zip Line and Treetop Adventure Course in Creve Coeur Park
by Chelle Dohrmann
Go Ape! Zip Line and Treetop Adventure Course opened in Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights on July 24 to a sold-out opening weekend! Who knew how much the good folks of St. Louis like to monkey around?! But for those who are more of a “wait and see” kind of person, KidsOutAndAbout was there to tell you all about it!
So…what IS it like to Go Ape?! Not sure if words can describe, but I do my best below! But first, take a look at our 1-minute video and see for yourself!
Let’s start with the name: Go Ape! It couldn’t be more appropriate! The 12-year-old in our group quipped: “If this is what life is like for monkeys, I’ll stick with being human!” But she, as well as my entire party of four (two adults, two kids) had a blast climbing and zipping through (and over!) the trees of beautiful Creve Coeur Park.
What is Go Ape!?
The Go Ape! Zip Line and Treetop Adventure is a first of its kind in Missouri. The course is divided into five sections that consist of a variety of rope ladders, 39 crossings, two Tarzan swings and five zip lines, including the area’s first skateboard zip! Two of the ziplines are 400-to-450 feet long, and when it is all said and done, the entire course consists of 2624 feet of obstacles and ziplines. As you move through the sections, you go higher and higher into the forest canopy without even realizing what is happening. Before you know it, you have one of the best views of the park!
After booking an adventure, you are placed in a group of no more than 15. Please note: do NOT plan on just bringing your kids and having them do the course on their own. There are very strict rules:
- Under-18-year-olds must be supervised by a participating adult .
- One participating adult can supervise EITHER two under-18-year-olds (where one or both children are 10-15 years old) OR up to five 16-to-17-year-olds.
- Minimum age is 10 years and minimum height is 4 feet, 7 inches.
- Maximum weight: 285 lbs. (subject to harness fit).
Your adventure begins with a 30-minute training session with one of the Go Ape! instructors. This includes instruction on the equipment: harnesses, pulleys, and carabiners. Safety is their main priority, and that is what we heard most about. The phrase of the day was: “Always stay attached!” Other than a practice section at the beginning, this is a self-guided, go-at-your-own-pace adventure. There are staffers walking on the ground throughout the course checking on you, but no one is on the platforms making sure you are doing it correctly. So I strongly urge all participants to take this training VERY seriously. There is a very good reason that adults are needed to supervise the kids: You need to have full understanding of what to do and how it all works when you are up on the course.
Once on the course, you are harnessed in with at least two and sometimes three clips at all times. You will walk across tightropes, swinging logs, climb spider webs and things you never thought you would or could do! A nice bonus was the water & cups found at each of the stations. You will need it, because this is quite a workout! The entire course takes a good 2-3 hours to complete! Keep this in mind as this is not an activity for everyone.
Why should YOU Go Ape!?
Let’s hear what some others who were there had to say:
"The experience is like “a lush nature walk on high-octane steroids!”
“It may sound corny, but the best part was mainly climbing and soaring through trees with my daughter.”
From a 14-year-old: “It was a new experience that really tests your limits! I did things that I don't think I would have done if I’d seen them from the ground first."
And from me: Why do I think you should Go Ape!? Go Ape! is a unique, one-of-a-kind adventure that you won’t find anywhere else in the area! It's a bit pricey, sure, but it's a wonderful way to experience the summer or fall in our area. And while I was nervous and a bit scared throughout, I have to say, it was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had. And the best part is that I got to experience it with my son. I wouldn’t trade the afternoon we spent together for anything! No phones, no TVS or computers, just us, swinging from the trees, together. Priceless!
Go Ape! Zip Line and Treetop Adventure Course is located at 13219 Streetcar Drive, Maryland Heights in Upper Creve Coeur Park. Costs: $55 for Gorillas (18+) and $35 for Baboons (10-17 yrs)
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Chelle Dohrmann is editor of KidsOutAndAbout Saint Louis.