The zipping and climbing is back at Northwest Trek.
Zip Wild, the zip line/challenge courses that made their debut in 2012, opened May 24 for their third season adjacent to the wildlife park near Eatonville.
And there’s something new this year. Aerial Runway, as the new addition is called, has a slight degree of difficulty, unlike the bigger courses that require more agility and mental toughness to conquer a number of obstacles.
Aerial Runway, which is about 20 feet high, contains a 512-foot zip line. It’s accompanied by two climbing ladders and three stabilized Andes bridges.
The ladders are similar to household ladders and are no taller than six feet, while the bridges have stabilizers to prevent a lot of movement. The new attraction, open to ages 8 and up, is tame compared to the Adventure and Sensation courses, which contain more difficult challenges and go as high as 55 and 78 feet, respectively, according to Tacoma Metro Parks, which operates Northwest Trek and contracted with Deep Forest Challenge to run Zip Wild. Deep Forest is a company that specializes in designing and building challenge courses.
The Zip Wild layout has courses of varying degrees of difficulty for virtually all ages, starting at 5 years old. The focus is on exercise, recreation and adventure. Each course is increasingly challenging in complexity and beneath the canopy of trees.
Participants on all of the courses are attached to a safety line at all times while flying along zip lines and negotiating crossings between trees.
At the end of the 2013 season last September, approximately 10,000 people had tackled one or more of the courses, according to Metro Parks.