“He flies through the air ... “

Noah Heismann gets ready to fearlessly leap from an aerial plank to the next plank at the Treehouse Adventure Park in Bailey. (Photo by Kelly Kirkpatrick/The Flume)

The Treehouse Adventure Park in Bailey offers the freedom to challenge oneself high amongst the ponderosa treetops in a series of self-guided zip lines and aerial bridges.

A diverse menu of courses, sequenced according to level of difficulty, offers the opportunity to sneak away from the less-adventurous members of your party to tackle a tougher course if you dare. Or, you might relax on a less imposing course so you can say you are participating while secretly exerting as little energy as possible.

If neither of those options appeals to you, simply look on from the deck of a suspended tree-yurt and watch as others meticulously plot their paths through aerial obstacles around the 12-acre facility.

The park provides a unique climbing experience in an environment that resembles an Ewok village or a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. The park is designed to engage participants of varying skill levels and age groups (seven and up).

Each guest is harnessed with the assistance of a staff member prior to entering the training area. In the training area, adventurers become familiar with their climbing equipment and prepare for new and exciting aerial challenges.

From there, guests are free to enter the main starting platform and begin navigating easier courses before progressing to those more difficult. Staff members are always close by if or when assistance is required.

“We opened last year and had a great response from the community,” said                                                                                                                                             Nick Fullerton, one of three co-owners of the park. “Now we just need more exposure and are hoping for greater numbers of visitors this year.”

Fullerton, who shares ownership of the park with his brother, Cameron, and Tim Gregg, moved to Colorado from South Dakota in 2008. His parents own an aerial adventure park near Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and he thought the foothills area made an ideal location for an aerial adventure park of its own.

In addition to a well-constructed network of eight aerial challenge courses, the park also features three actual treehouses that are sure to bring out the kid in every visitor.

“The construction of the park was quite a process,” Fullerton said. “It took a group of ten guys seven months to complete from start to finish. There is still plenty of room for growth, though. We would like to build a mystery house, which would feature walls built at unusual angles that play tricks on your equilibrium.”

The most consistent theme at the park, however, is one of individual freedom and personal accomplishment that guests of all ages seem to encounter when they successfully navigate obstacles far above ground. What might look hopelessly daunting becomes surprisingly manageable with the help of staff and a little basic knowledge of the required climbing gear.

Obstacles include suspended steps and cables, pulleys that transport guests from one aerial station to the next, jacks that allow climbers to jump from a plank and drift lazily to the ground, and zip lines that whisk adventurers great distances with little time and effort.

“I think the challenge courses provide a self esteem-boosting experience for a lot of people,” Fullerton said. “Especially for kids. They love it.”

Reasonably priced, well managed and a scenic treat for all, the Treehouse Adventure Park in Bailey is certainly worth a visit as the warmer months arrive. To find out more about the park and its many offerings for the entire family, call 720-590-8504, visit online at www.treehouseadventurepark.com, or visit in person at 60177 U.S. Highway 285.

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