Soaring and speeding among the Lake George treetops

Get a taste of the high life at Adirondack Extreme
Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing.
Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing.

Back in his youth, my grandfather was a lumber guy.

Before the days of cranes and electronic lifts and elaborate safety harnesses, the way one removed giant trees from your property was to hire a guy who would climb all the way up and start cutting branches until he made his way down.

My grandmother used to occasionally bring out a collection of black-and-white Polaroids of a lean, muscular figure standing straight up on a sturdy branch, high above the ground, barely visible through the leaves, with a big loop of rope hooked to his belt and a saw in his gloved hands.

That was my grandfather.

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“He could climb like a monkey,” grandma would say.

Rarely did one ever have the chance to experience the same thrill of climbing high in the trees, of walking among the branches, flying from tree to tree on ropes and lines, the dark earth far below your feet.

But if you’re visiting the Adirondacks, you can get a taste of the high life at Adirondack Extreme in Bolton Landing.

Not for the faint of heart or the weak of arms, Adirondack Extreme is the place to go for kids and adults who crave more action than lazy-river rafting and mini-golf, more thrills than sitting in a roller-coaster car, and a more energizing Adirondack, woodsy experience than a strenuous hike.

The park consists of multiple courses, from kids level to advanced adult, featuring tree-top rope bridges, log bridges, climbing netting, rope swings and numerous zip lines that cover 1.5 miles of woods at heights of up to 60 feet above the ground.

The kids course, at $30, feature 30 obstacles for kids age 6 and up to climb on, around and above. Parents can walk along the course or follow behind and watch their kids as they make their way through the loop two or three times. 

Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing.Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing.

For adults, the park offers six different courses, increasing in difficulty at each stage.

The park offers packages of four, five and six courses, with differing age and reach requirements for each package.

The four-course package for $45 to those age 9 and up includes more than 100 obstacles and 11 zip lines, including a 350-foot-long zipline over Alder Brook and two tandem giant ziplines to complete the adventure.

More: Your guide to summer on Lake George

The five-course package, available for $50 to those 12 and up, features more than 120 obstacles and 13 ziplines, plus an additional course that takes you high into the trees and demands more balance and agility.

The six-course package, for $55 to those 12 and up, includes more than 130 obstacles and 15 ziplines. The sixth course, the “no-limit” BLACK course, is where your fitness and focus is put to the test high into the treetops. It’s also got some of the best views.

The first course of the six allows visitors to get accustomed to the obstacles. The degree of difficulty and the height above the ground increase the further you go.

At any time during the courses, if you get tired, scare or you’re just done, you can exit the course with the assistance of the safety monitors patrolling each course.

You’ll need several hours to complete the six courses and the 30-minute mandatory safety video at the beginning of each visit.

For the four-course package, visitors say it took three to four hours. Add in a little additional time for the fifth and sixth courses.

For safety, the park features a continuous belay system that prevents falls, while allowing uninterrupted climbing.

Those who’ve done the courses have praised its level of fun and excitement, the physical challenge and the focus on safety. The staff members stay with you and step in when you need assistance, have questions or just need to get down.

Don’t wear open-toed shoes or loose-fitting clothing, and either bring your own gloves for climbing or rent them at the park. 

On Tripadvisor, the park got 353 ratings out of 370 ranking the park excellent (316) or very good (37), virtually all touting the emphasis on safety and the attention of the staff.

Before you go, check out the website for all the age and height requirements for each of the 
courses, as well as directions and discounts.

Mahoney is The Gazette’s editorial page editor.

More: Your guide to summer on Lake George


Categories: Life and Arts

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