Learn the ropes during spring break

Learning the ropes on Spring Break? How could you possibly talk a kid into doing something educational during this freewheeling prelude to summer?

The odds may be in your favor if you use “learning the ropes” in the literal sense. Treetop Quest, an adventure obstacle course located at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, finds kids and adults making like Tarzan as high as 55 feet above the ground.

All that’s missing are the trademark King of the Jungle yelps, and you might hear some of those, too.

Just adjacent to the center is an array of suspension bridges, zip lines, swing ropes and other options visitors can use to explore the woods in a way typically reserved for squirrels. The heart-pumping canopy excursion doubles as an informational experience with environmental education boards posted along the way.

The provided safety equipment allows guests to reach those serious heights. Everyone gets a double sling-style harness with a carabiner and pulley for catching air on the flying foxes and zip-line crossings. Gloves are given to keep callouses away, and younger adventurers don safety helmets. The trek begins with a safety and operational lecture. Ground guides keep an eye on the climbers, too.

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The staff recommends comfy clothes that don’t hinder movement. Sneakers are the footwear of choice, but leave the slippers, flip flops and sandals at home.

It’s then off and into the trees for a self-guided experience. A selection of six courses weave their way through the lush flora, past looming trees, some of which are supporting the shaky rope bridges, tree stands and more. Younger climbers, ages 4 to 6, can try the lower-to-the-ground Chick’ Pea course. The continuous belay system, used on all courses, keeps the precious cargo from falling. The courses increase in height and difficulty from the more benign Chirpy on a Branch to the tip-toppy Your Place in the Sun course, which calls for a bit more rigorous activity best suited for those age 12 and older.

Most climbers have two and a half hours to learn the ropes at Treetop Quest, turning Spring Break into Swing Break.

10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Last ticket sold at 4 p.m. March 31-April 8. Hours change seasonally; call or check Website for more information. $19-$25 ages 4-6; $29-$45 ages 7 and older. Treetop Quest, 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford. 770-904-3500, www.treetopquest.com.

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