A Walk in the Treetops
Imagine walking 40 feet high in the trees, harnessed and clipped to swinging bridges spanning 150 feet. How would it feel to trek through the trees, observe what's happening up there in the treetops-- like a scientist-- and then speed down to the forest floor on a zipline?
The EcoTarium's Tree Canopy Walkway is a unique and exciting opportunity for families to explore life in the treetops. One of the few walkways where children as young as 5 can participate, the Tree Canopy Walkway offers a fun, safe and educational introduction to the science of the tree canopy.
On a series of platforms and rope bridges suspended high above the ground in a grove of oak and hickory trees, kids and adults make their way from tree to tree just as scientists do in tropical and temperate forests around the world-- hauling up their gear with a rope, using binoculars, and even drawing or recording what they observe. Then, strapped in a secure chair harness, they end their adventure by zipping to the ground.
2015 Tree Canopy Walkway Schedule
Open Weekends: May 23 - June 21
Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 12:30 to 4 p.m.
Open Daily: June 23 - August 16
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 12:30 to 4 p.m.
Tree Canopy sessions last 30 minutes and start on the half hour. The Tree Canopy Walkway is closed from 12:30 to 1 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
Ticket price: $10 (plus museum admission)/$8 EcoTarium members
Please check availability and purchase tickets at the Tickets and Information Desk (on the upper level of the museum) when you arrive. Space is limited. Tree Canopy Walkway access is weather-dependent.
Preparing for your canopy adventure
- You must be dressed for treetop trekking. That means closed-toe, secure, covered shoes; knee-length shorts or long pants; and clothing appropriate to the weather. No skirts or dresses. No sandals.
- All children must be 5 or older and accompanied by an adult. Ages 12 and older can participate without a chaperone.
- Harnesses and helmets are provided to ensure your safety.
- To ensure your safety with our harnesses, you must weigh no more than 250 pounds.
- You will be asked to sign a release form. You may print it out below and bring with you, or complete one when you arrive.
- Please understand that we may need to limit access during heavy rain or high winds.
SAVE TIME! Print the Informed Consent-Liability Release Form, complete it and bring it with you to the EcoTarium. Please present it at the Information Desk when purchasing your Tree Canopy Walkway tickets. Completion of this form does not guarantee you a space on the Tree Canopy Walkway; tickets are sold at the Information Desk on a first-come, first-served basis.
What's a Tree Canopy Walkway?
EcoTarium's Tree Canopy Walkway is a series of platforms and rope bridges suspended more than 40 feet above ground among a grove of oak and hickory trees. Opened at EcoTarium in July 1999, it was the first in the country available for public use. The walkway is modeled after those built for scientific research in tropical and temperate forests around the world.
Only in the last 20 years have scientists begun to document the tremendous diversity of life high in the tree canopy. Researchers have estimated that millions of undiscovered species -- many of which are insects -- are hidden high above our heads in the leaf line of the trees. Scientists have developed ingenious techniques for accessing the canopy layer of the forest, including climbing ropes or ladders, inflatable "rafts" and "sleds" dropped from hot-air balloons, and tree canopy walkways.
EcoTarium's Tree Canopy Walkway was designed and constructed by Canopy Construction Associates, based in Amherst, Mass. The associates, all experienced canopy researchers and builders, have also installed walkways in Belize, Ecuador, Borneo and the Peruvian Amazon.