What: TreeTop Quest
Where: Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center Foundation, 2020 Clean Water, Drive, Buford, GA 30519 770-904-3500
When: Daily June & July 10 am – 7 pm, Other months weekends and holidays. Closed December – February. Last ticket sold 2 hours before closing
4 – 6 (Chick’ Pea) $19 for one hour course and $25 for 2.5 hour course
Ages 7 – 11 $29
Ages 12 – 17 and students $39,
Adults (18 and above) $45
Parking is Free
Photos: For additional photos of TreeTop Quest, visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook
TreeTop Quest is a self-guided, family friendly canopy adventure course, located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. It’s the first canopy adventure course I’ve seen that offers something for kids from preschool (age 4 and up) through high school, which is great for those of us with multiple children across various ages. There are six courses and each takes about 30 minutes to complete. We’ve profiled them by age group below. Not all children can do all six courses, so check your child’s height and the TreeTop Quest course requirements before you go.
Ground School – Learning the Ropes
TreeTop Quest is a self-guided tour that begins with a ground school taught by knowledgeable guides where you master the art of the twitzel. TreeTop Quest is the only location in the U.S. that uses the Twitzel technology. It’s a double carabineer safety system where the first carabineer must be clipped into place before the second can be moved. After getting the hang of Twitzeling, guests are taught how to safely set up the zip lines, then sent on their way. Guides offer assistance and watch from the ground and sometimes the treetops. Adults are required to be onsite with kids, but if you want to cheer from the ground rather than the trees, that’s ok.
TreeTop Quest for Tweens and Teens
Tweens and teens will love the challenging elements at TreeTop Quest and can participate on all the courses. Level two is a good place to start and begins at ground level. The elements on Level two are interesting and include walking on and through nets, as well walking across tight ropes and bridges. The spacing between boards on the bridges is uniform and swaying is kept to a minimum. For those with multiple ages, level two is one family members over age 8 can enjoy.
Level three is all easy zip lines that don’t require breaking. Children must be at least 12 year’s of age, as weight and height are needed in order to make it between zip platforms and land safely on your feet (vs. dangling on the zip line).
Level four and five are perfect for adrenaline addicts. These courses are much more challenging than the others. Elements are up to 55 feet in the air and often swaying. The highlight of the course is a rope swing into a cargo net. I don’t know how Tarzan does it, I felt myself slipping down the rope as I swung into the net, which isn’t a good thing as you have to climb up the cargo net to the next platform. I’m guessing this is the main reason my legs and arms were sore the next day.
TreeTop Quest for Elementary-aged children (ages 8 and up)
The Level two course is open to children 8 and up and offers plenty of adventure. Elements include bridges made of various elements and configurations of nets, cable and wood. Kids can go through several times if they want. As fun as this course was, my youngest, who is just 8, was disappointed that he couldn’t do the other courses because he was too young, something to keep in mind if you bring multiple ages.
TreeTop Quest for Preschoolers (ages 4 – 8)
In addition to the five courses for older kids and adults, TreeTop Quest is the only canopy adventure course I’ve seen that has a course for preschoolers. The elements of the Chick’ Pea and Chirpy on the Branch are similar to the Level three Swing in the Trees course, but only about a foot or two off the ground.
Tips for a Great Day at TreeTop Quest
1. Don’t let rain deter you. Unless it’s a huge storm, TreeTop Quest is open, safe and uncrowded. The day we went it had rained all morning and we had the treetops all to ourselves.
2. Bring water and snacks for after your Quest. Better yet, bring a picnic. There is a large picnic area at the climbing site or go across the parking lot to the beautiful grounds at the Environmental & Heritage Center.
3. For a longer day, plan a visit to the Environmental & Heritage Center museum. We didn’t have time to go in here, but am looking forward to going back for the Crime Lab Detective exhibit that runs July 14 – Oct. 15, 2012.
4. Parents do not have to climb with their children, but they do have to be on-site when the kids climb. If you want to bring friends, just remember there must be one adult for every three participating minors.
5. Wear longer shorts or pants. Stylish as those cute little nike running shorts are, I was constantly pulling them under the belts and harness. I would have been more comfortable in longer shorts, capris or even pants.
Field Trips with Sue was given a complimentary adventure at TreeTop Quest for the purposes of reviewing it for this blog, as is common in the travel industry. All opinions expressed here are our own.