Now this looks like fun! Today, the Alley Pond Park Adventure course will reopen for its seventh season. It is the first challenge course in New York City, the largest challenge course in the Metropolitan region, and perhaps the most state-of-the-art challenge course in the United States. The course, which was damaged by fallen trees and downed limbs during Hurricane Sandy, has been completely repaired in time for this year’s opening.
According to Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White, “The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course allows park visitors to zip through the tree tops and balance among the branches, all without leaving New York City. Further she states that it’s “part of a new generation of park designs, where people of all ages can challenge themselves and get fit.”
Consisting of 20 high and low elements, the Adventure Course can be both physically and emotionally challenging and encourages a connection with nature. The low elements take place on the ground or on cables a few feet above the ground. Many of these elements are accessible to people with disabilities, and concentrate on team-building and problem-solving skills. High elements take place on cables suspended 45 feet in the air, requiring a harness and climbing rope for safety, and focus more on personal achievements. The Adventure Course staff is trained in program implementation and safety techniques.
The course was first opened in 2007, created with a $250,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and a $120,000 grant from the J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation.
Open from May through November, weather permitting, the Course offers free programs for individuals and families on a first-come, first-served basis on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. During July and August, because of increased demand, registration is required. Programs for organizations and large groups, including full day and overnight options, are also available. Visit nyc.gov/parks/rangers for more information or to register for a visit.