Zoo Atlanta's newest exhibit offers zip lining, ropes course

Families can soon join in on the fun at Zoo Atlanta by getting a glimpse of a portion of the park while swinging through the air.

Treetop Trail, the zoo's newest addition, promises to give kids and adults alike a first-hand experience of what it's like to tiptoe through tight quarters while suspended in the air. The attraction opens to the public March 21. Zoo Atlanta members can preview the attraction March 17-20.

"As they traverse the course, visitors will have new reasons to appreciate the amazing natural skills of tree-dwelling animals such as orangutans, binturongs, milky eagle owls and green tree pythons," a press release for Treetop Trail reads. "Future updates to the experience will include themes that promote education of the lifestyles and adaptations of arboreal wildlife."

Presented by Kaiser Permanente, Treetop Trail features 22 elements, including two levels of tight ropes and wobbly pathways, and a zip line. The elements vary in difficulty so each individual participant can choose their own adventure or complete the entire ropes course in about a half an hour.

35 people can participate in the course at a time. Children of all ages are welcome, although they must be taller than 48 inches to participate without an adult.

Zoo officials have gone to great lengths to ensure that families can participate in Treetop Trail in a safe manner.

Before you walk up the wooden stairs to begin the ropes course, step into a full body harness and the staff will tighten it for you and secure a sling line to the front of your chest. If you ever feel like you need extra security, hold tight to the sling line. It's what tethers you to Treetop Trail and keeps you from falling no matter how thin or wobbly the course gets. Everyone is required to sign a waiver before participating.

And, since the trial is located above the KIDZone playground, participants must empty their pockets before entering the course to avoid dropping something and injuring a playing child below.

Zoo officials worked with Ropes Course, Inc. to create Treetop Trail. Each of the course's 22 elements can be swapped out for a new element if the staff decides something is too easy or difficult. Or, if they just want to keep things interesting and fresh for repeat visitors.

Admission to Treetop Trail can be purchased as an add-on to Zoo Atlanta admission for an additional $10.95 for members and $13.95 for non-members.

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About the Author

Jewel Wicker
Jewel Wicker is an Atlanta native, Georgia State University graduate and entertainment reporter. She typically covers local events.