BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Adventure Park at The Discovery Museum has developed an outdoor alternative to indoor climbing walls.
The Monkey Grove at the park is a section of 10 trees that are color-coded by difficulty and height. The section opened in 2014.
“The fun part is you get to climb on a real tree in the outdoors rather than an artificial wall indoors.’’ said Karen O’Halloran, Manager of Business Operations for Adventure Park. “It’s a totally different concept.”
Monkey Grove is available daily from 9:00 a.m. to noon for group reservations and birthday parties. It is open to the public during the rest of the day.
With several climbing options, O’Halloran said visitors can find the right trees to suit their skills. The trees are color-coded similarly to hills at skiing areas. If you’re a novice climber, you don’t want to attempt an expert level tree.
“Climbers can tailor it to whatever they choose,’’ O’Halloran said. “If they don’t feel confident and don’t want to go to the top, they don’t have to. It’s all about building confidence and doing whatever you feel comfortable doing. We just want them to have fun.”
O’Halloran said oftentimes young climbers exhibit less fear. “They just fly up the trees,’’ she said. “Generally, the younger you are, the less fearful you are.”
Tree climbing is especially beneficial for fitness enthusiasts seeking to improve upper body strength. The Monkey Grove can also be used for birthday parties. Climbers receive safety training and are clipped in to safety harnesses as they climb the trees. Climbers can tackle the trees for up to three hours.
“The important thing is to go at your own pace,’’ O’Halloran said. “It’s not a race. If you feel like you’re going too high, you can always back down.”
The park is open through November, weather permitting.
The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum is located on the Fairfield/Bridgeport line at 4450 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one mile from Merritt Exit 47. For more information on the Monkey Grove section at Adventure Park, click here . To find out more about Adventure Park, click here or call (203) 690-1717.