Turtle Back debuts Treetop Adventure Course

Photo by Glen Frieson/ Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. maneuvers his way through one of the elements of the new Treetop Adventure aerial obstacle course at Turtle Back Zoo.


The new Treetop Adventure Course at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange opened to the public on Saturday. The first of its kind in New

Jersey, it is an aerial obstacle course with rope bridges, zip lines and other climbing features built into the trees 35 feet above the ground.

Treetop Adventure has 22 stations. Participants move from platform to platform by traversing the bridges, zigzag boards and logs and other obstacles. It is estimated that the average person will take about 90 minutes to complete the course. (Participants can exit midway through the journey.)

Admission to the Treetop Adventure Course is $20, which is separate from the

Turtle Back Zoo fee. It also has a separate entrance so it can remain open after the zoo closes.

Reservations are required for the Treetop Adventure. To make a reservation, visit www.turtlebackzoo.com. Group reservations also are available.

There are a few requirements:

• Participants must be at least 54 inches tall and weigh no more than

250 pounds.

• Children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

• Children under 18 must have a consent form signed by a


• Participants must wear appropriate shoes. Flip-flops and sandals are

not acceptable.

• Other restrictions may apply.

Treetop Adventure will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to one

hour before sunset through the Thanksgiving weekend, weather permitting.

Turtle Back Zoo itself is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Regular zoo admission is $7 for children

and senior citizens; $10 for adults, and free for children under 2 years.


For additional information, call 973-731-5800 or visit www.essexcountynj.org.




Treetop Adventure was constructed in conjunction with the

Big Cat Country exhibit, which features jaguars and cougars and is scheduled to open in October. The engineering firm of French and Parrello of Wall received a $138,897 contract to design the course and the exhibit. Shauger Property Services of East Orange was awarded a $3,056,808 contract to construct

the attractions.

The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project, and design services were paid by the Zoological Society of New Jersey. The construction was funded through the Essex County Capital Budget and with a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund.







The Observer Staff