Looking for adventure that includes multiple zip lines and ropes courses? If so, Frankenmuth Aerial Park in Frankenmuth, Michigan is the place for you. I recently had the opportunity to try this Aerial Park out with my family and youth group. And needless to say, the experience all the way around was spectacular.
When I first inquired through the park regarding bringing a group, Frankenmuth Aerial Park was more than willing to assist with our accommodations explaining the park and what it had to offer and also how to accommodate a group that has various ages. Our next step was to get our date on the calendar and reserve a day/time (also note walk ins are welcome) as we wanted to make sure they could accommodate our group on a specific day. After a deposit was made to RSVP our day/time, I was set up with an online Waiver Account so all my climbers (or guardians of under age students) could go online and sign the waiver prior to our climb date. This functionality was pretty slick as everyone signed online and I then also knew who was going (by name) and who hadn’t signed yet. It saved me time running around making sure I had copies of waiver forms signed before departure and of course there’s always ONE in the group who forgets the form at home. So, this little baby was GREAT!
Fast forward to our day at the park…
We arrived a few minutes early and they took us right in and into their office and printed off our tickets that had our name on and climb expire time….which I think was 2 hours and 40 minutes from check in. Oh, and did I mention, the office and entire park is in the woods and the office is in a Yurt. Now I can say I’ve been in a Yurt. Side note…the office has snacks and drinks and other items to purchase if necessary. The office also offered locker rental ($3) to put your valuables in, which we rented one for our entire group.
Next step was getting our gear on. Our group among others, stood in a circle as we all stepped in our harnesses and were assisted by staff to latch and hook and tightened it all. From there we moved on to a quick training with another member of staff who was on a mini zip line and course to show us how to use all our equipment and for the first time hear the word “tweezle”, which we used many times. As staff quickly trained us, our heads were spinning a bit as we left trying to figure out what a “tweezle” was and what harness or equipment to go zip lining, up and down or just using the safety cable to get across from one course to another as we had 4 different items attached to us that we had to use along the way.
Next stop…the practice area. We spent some time on this course to get our gear figured out and the “tweezle”…which is kind of like key-type item that locks and unlocks our clips to our cable so there is always one clip locked so each person is safely attached at all times when on a course.
Once the practice run was over, we headed on over to the main climb area where you can attempt a yellow, green, blue or black course with yellow being the easiest (there are 6 courses in total). Our group (ages 9-50+) went in all sorts of directions. Needless to say…the yellow course is where my group started. Up we went into the trees and maneuvered courses and zip lines. My tweezle was giving me a bit of a fit, so I got left behind from my group, but then joined another as I became more familiar with all my equipment.
We cruised along and caught up to my 9-year-old who got stranded on a platform as he was the last in his group and could not get his zip line equipment hooked up because he wasn’t tall enough. After that, we put him between taller members in our group and he was good to go.
I’ve been on other ropes courses and personally have a zip line in our backyard, so we aren’t strangers to this type of thing, but what I noticed what was so different with the zip lines and ropes courses together is that everyone was so focused on making sure their safety gear was hooked correctly, you really didn’t notice how high in the air you were. Which I thought was amazing! What I also thought was amazing is how many people were in this park zipping and climbing unattended and everyone was behaving themselves and doing a great job with no issues. Staff had orange shirts on (and if you had an issue, you were to yell “orange” so staff could assist) and they were always available, so they more or less were walking around and monitoring all the climbers. Pretty much all climbers were handling it on their own besides help from behind or ahead if they were with a group, but then I also had some pretty awesome people behind me who we helped each other get through a couple hang ups together who were complete strangers.
Our time at the park went by very quickly and before we knew it, our time was up. The excitement of the enjoyment from our group at the park was a HUGE conversation at lunch after our climb. It was a trip that was sure memorable and that I’m thinking it’s going back on the list for a “do over” as EVERYONE was already ready to plan the next trip.
Prices are posted on their website below, but the best time to go is during the week and have a group of 6 or more. Please note, they are closed Tuesday and Wednesdays.
All in all, our trip to the Frankenmuth Aerial Park was well worth the drive, time, and money. If you’re an adventure fan…you’ve got to try this place out!
Side note: Other features that I thought were appealing were they provided a picnic table area so families or groups could eat there or gather. Also, anyone can come to watch and enjoy the climbing that is happening at this park with no charge. So, if Grandma wanted to come or someone who wasn’t too sure about climbing, they can still watch from below. With this park accommodating various ages (ages 7 and up) I did think this whole campus is VERY family friendly for all.
Also, check out their website for further information regarding Glow Nights.
For more information, go to https://zipandclimb.com/
Photos courtesy of Charlotte Sosnoski and Dolores Gorkowski