Treehouses are magical. Beloved by kids and adults, alike, they invite us to play, explore and imagine life up in the treetops. Treehouse and treetop attractions are also now more popular than ever. We should know. Our family, Road Trip 7, has visited a number of them across the US. From treehouses with rope nets and ladders to suspension bridges and slides, even those that you can camp upon. Here we have rounded up some of the best treehouse and treetop attractions across America. We hope your family will enjoy visiting them as much as we have!
Tree Village at Nebraska’s Arbor Day Farm
Nebraska City’s Arbor Day Farm has one of the best treehouse attractions in the country. The 3-acre Treetop Village includes 11 treehouses connected by netted walkways and bridges.
Between two of the treehouses is a giant Wondernet for jumping, bouncing, and tumbling. Close by is a 50 ft slide leading down to the forest floor.
Not up for jumping and sliding? Enjoy the view of the forest canopy from the 50 ft treehouse.
In addition to the Tree Village, Arbor Day Farm offers guests a number of other activities from hiking trails through the forest, to a film “Trees in the Movies”, and a number of tree-related interactive exhibits.
Murch Canopy Walk & Kalberer Emergent Tower at Ohio’s Holden Arboretum
At Ohio’s Holden Arboretum, one of the nation’s largest arboreta, you can quite literally walk in the treetops. One of the arboretum’s top attractions is the Murch Canopy Walk, a 500-foot-long elevated walkway that leads you through the forest canopy. The walkway, which is made up of a series of platforms connected by suspended bridges, rises over 65 ft above the forest floor. Along the walkway are numerous hands-on exhibits highlighting features of the forest canopy, understory, and floor.
For an even more phenomenal view of the forest, climb Holden’s Kalberer Family Emergent Tower. The tower stands 120 feet tall and leads you up through the forest canopy to a spectacular view of Northern Ohio and Lake Erie. While climbing the 202 steps to the top of the tower is strenuous, indeed, the views are worth it!
Visiting Holden Arboretum with kids? We also recommend stopping by Buckeye Bud’s Adventure Woods. This natural play area has a mini zip-line, climbing nets, stick structures, and a play cabin perfect for kids of all ages.
Whiting Forest Canopy Walk of Michigan’s Dow Gardens
The nation’s longest canopy walk, however, is located in the Whiting Forest of Michigan’s Dow Gardens. The ADA-accessible walk, which is 1,400 ft long and 40 feet above the ground, leads guests through 54 acres of woodlands, meadows, and orchards. The Canopy Walk has three sections, each of which ends at a unique viewing platform. Views from these vantage points include a forest pond, an orchard, and a grove of spruce trees. A suspended net hangs about the latter, providing the perfect spot to relax and gaze up at the forest canopy.
Between these platforms are wooden “pods” inspired by Queen Anne’s Lace flowers, which provide a unique photo op for adults and a fun place to play for children. Especially the pods connected to the walk by a netted rope walkway.
The glass-bottomed orchard viewing platform offers a bird’s eye view of Whiting Forest’s amazing playground. In addition to swings and slides, this massive playground has an interactive water feature and multiple one-of-a-kind climbing elements. If you are visiting with kids, this is a must-see attraction!
The Wild Walk at New York’s Adirondacks Wild Center
The Wild Walk, located in the Adirondacks Wild Center of Tupper Lake, New York, is another exceptional tree canopy attraction. The Walk begins by leading visitors up an accessible, boardwalk trail above the forest floor through a series of giant pyramidal supports reminiscent of the white pine trees found in the Adirondacks. Along the elevated trail are a number of kiosks where volunteers oversee hands-on learning exhibits about the Adirondack forest.
As the trail travels higher above the forest, guests reach some of the Wild Walk’s truly unique features, like the four-story twig treehouse connected to the trail by swinging bridges.
After the treehouse, is the Giant Snag, an enlarged, four-story replica of a hollow White Pine and the burrows you might find inside when animals make it their home.
Next is the giant Eagle’s Nest, the highest point on the Wild Walk, providing visitors with the view an eagle might have from its home at the top of the forest.
Finally, a favorite feature of kids and anyone young at heart is the Spider Web, a bouncy rope web suspended some 30 ft above the forest floor.
In addition to the Wild Walk, the Wild Center also has a number of other great nature-inspired attractions. In particular, we enjoyed the Pines Wild Play Area, a natural playground made of uprooted trees, stumps, and branches. Our kids could have played here for hours!
Anakeesta Treetop Skywalk and TreeVenture in Tennessee
One of the newest tree adventures, Anakeesta, has a Treetop Skywalk, TreeVenture Challenge Course, and so much more. Located high above Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the theme park is reached by chairlift or gondola ride. Once on the mountaintop, enjoy the forest canopy by walking the 16-bridge Treetop Skywalk, suspended some 50-60 feet in the air.
Afterward, head over to TreeVenture Challenge Course where kids and adults alike can climb, crawl, slide and play.
For a spectacular 360° view of the Smokies and downtown Gatlinburg, climb the 84 steps to the top of the AnaVista Observation Tower.
In addition to tree-themed attractions, Anakeesta has many other fun experiences, including the BearVenture Challenge Course, a zip line course, gem-mining, gardens, restaurants, and shops. Our family favorite was the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster! For the less adventurous, enjoy a drink while sitting by one of Anakeesta’s many fire pits. There is truly something for everyone at this mountain theme park.
Ohio’s Cannaley Treehouse Village
Looking for the ultimate treehouse adventure? Spend the night in Toledo, Ohio’s Cannaley Treehouse Village. The village, which is located in Oak Openings Metropark, is the largest public overnight treehouse site in the country. Visitors can rent one of four treehouses for the night. These 2-, 4- and 6-person treehouses have electricity, heat, and air conditioning. Additionally, there are two elevated tree platforms for tent and hammock camping. Each treehouse and camping platform is unique, with fun features such as rope ladders, nets, and slides.
We spent the night on the tent and hammock platforms and had a great time. One of our favorite features of the village was the fire pit surrounded by bench swings and Adirondack chairs. Wood is provided for free, along with a convenient lighter, which makes roasting s’mores about as easy as it gets. If you have any interest in renting the camping platforms or treehouses, plan on renting months in advance, if not a year out for the treehouses. The village is a popular attraction!
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