A Review of TREESCAPE Aerial Adventure Park in Vernon, NJ: Tips, Suggestions and Advice for Your Visit

Friday, April 22, 2022
If you're looking for some outdoor fun in New Jersey or searching for a day trip that includes some physical activity, check out TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park in Vernon! We just returned from a fun excursion here and we can't wait to go back. Come see what you'll experience during your visit, and
be sure to scroll down for my 4 minute video of our trip to TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park, too!

*this post has been freshly updated for 2022! TreEscape opens for the season on April 30, 2022.

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park in order to bring you this review. All opinions are my own. Just remember, I wouldn't recommend a place to you if I totally didn't love it myself. Read on and see for yourself. 

There is a lot of information here, but my posts are always designed for easy reading. You can scroll through to find the bold headings you are looking for. I keep my posts updated and answer questions/comments, so feel free to Pin this post for later, too.

A Note from The Jersey Momma ❤🌳

Before I tell you about TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park, I have to remind you how my posts work. I will give you my honest opinion about the places I visit, but it's ultimately up to you to decide whether or not you want to go, too. What might be right for me may not be right for your family. That's why I give you the most details I can, and then you decide from there. That being said, I truly loved this place. I have visited many attractions and venues in New Jersey, but this one stole my heart. I was excited to try TreEscape, but when we arrived, I started to have second thoughts. I got a little bit frustrated and wanted to quit. But I didn't, and I can't even explain to you the pride I feel in myself today. It sounds corny, but it's true. So read on and see what you think of TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park, and hopefully I can inspire you to try it out, too.

I didn't see any Ewoks (darn!) but I did see chipmunks and some show-off squirrels 

What is TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park?

TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park is a hidden gem of a place located in Vernon, New Jersey (next to Mountain Creek ). Here's a blurb right from their website that best explains what they're about:

TreEscape Aerial Adventure Ropes Courses is a unique blend of wooden platforms built high in the trees and connected by exhilarating combinations of rope walks, obstacles, climbing elements, and zip lines all located in our beautiful forested setting. Our Park offers the thrill of climbing through the treetops to complete a wide range of challenges for adventurers of all age levels, providing hours of fun, exhilaration, and competition for individuals, families, small parties, or large groups.

Who is TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park For?

TreEscape has courses designed for different experience levels and age groups (*but see my important footnote below the photo). There is also a height minimum of 36 inches, and a weight maximum of 265lbs. TreEscape is also perfect for groups, birthday parties, team building, scouts and more. Find more info about group visits here. The photo below explains the trails for different age groups:

a view of some of the purple trails for younger kids

a view of one of the green trails - more challenging

*Plan your visit based on your knowledge of your child's likes and abilities, of course. In my personal opinion, I think older kids would get the most out of it, and to get my money's worth, I would want to wait until my child is at least 9 before taking them here. But that's just my opinion! So you can gauge what I mean: my son is 11 and absolutely loves climbing trees. He had no major difficulty with any of the green (and blue!) courses. But we did encounter a little girl who was probably about 7 who was terrified and did not seem strong enough or tall enough to get through one particular green course. So really think about who you are bringing and what course you will be attempting with them.

*This quote, from the TreEscape FAQ page, is very important:  "Most people that lead an active lifestyle and are in good health should not have any difficulty in completing many of the trails. You are able to proceed at a pace that is comfortable to you. You are also welcome to leave the ropes course and take a break. Unlike the purple, yellow and green trails, the black trails are very challenging." Do you see that part about being in relatively good health? In my personal opinion, I wouldn't attempt this at all if you have a physical ailment of any kind (including strained/pulled muscles, high blood pressure, if you're overweight, etc). You have to be honest about your own abilities! I am by no means athletic and really only run when chased. But I walk my dog 2 miles a day and I try to maintain a decent weight (although this is a constant struggle, ladies, am I right?). I did just fine on the trails when I thought I was "getting too old for this." I learned that I was actually in better shape than I thought, and was stronger than I thought, too.

beginning a green trail

When You Arrive at TreEscape

*please call ahead or check the TreEscape website regarding transportation and any arrival changes that may have occurred since the pandemic.

It's worth mentioning here that when you arrive at TreEscape you will actually drive through the grounds of the former Playboy Club, which was the "it" spot in the 1970's. Sadly, it's now abandoned and has fallen into disarray (but I hold on to hope that someone will swoop in and rescue this historic venue). You might drive through thinking, 'what is this? Am I in the right place?' Don't fret, just park your car and follow the signs to the TreEscape Check-In up the hill. It's located in the building where the golf club is, which is totally full of life and not abandoned at all. Check-in at the main desk, sign your waiver on their tablets, get your wrist bands and wait for the shuttle that will take you to the course. The shuttle arrives every few minutes. We arrived around 1:30pm on a Saturday in October. We were all checked in and headed up to TreEscape by 2:00. **Just a note that the shuttle van is a very bumpy ride! We couldn't stop laughing the whole way up the mountain, so just hold onto your hats!

Starting Your Experience at TreEscape

Once you arrive at the park, you walk up a hill to the main area. The guides will show you what to do with your things (there are lockers here so you can bring a bag, which I recommend - see more about that in my tips section below). Then they'll get you ready with your gear (don't worry, they help you put all of your safety equipment on and they are very helpful). After you are geared up, you'll get a brief overview of how everything works and what to do. There is no safety video or sit-down instruction. The guides are very knowledgeable, and not only show you what to do with your gear but will also demo it on a small line in front of you so you can see how it works. I'll admit, I was totally lost (I actually had trouble trying to figure out how to open my locker at first, which might give you an idea of how technical I am when it comes to these things). I watched their instructions on how to use your hooks on each 'tweezle,' and the final 'freezle,' as well as how to use the zipline hooks and I thought, "Wait, what?" (yeah, I'm THAT person). But my husband is an engineer and my boy is a little tree monkey, so I figured they could help me up there! Fingerless gloves were also provided (if you have your own fingerless gloves, bring them- these were a tad grimy, but oh well). **Please check with TreEscape about the availability of gloves since the pandemic! I don't know if they currently provide gloves for their visitors.

In the Treetops

Before I arrived I assumed there would be staff throughout the courses, helping us to get from one platform to another and making sure we were all secure for our zip-line experience. I also thought we'd be wearing helmets. If that's what you thought, too, scratch all of that. There are staff members situated throughout the park, and if you need them, all you have to do is yell, "STAFF!" and someone will come to assist you. But other than that, once you're up in the treetops, you're on your own! So if you're nervous, it helps to have a good support system, I wanted my husband behind me (in case I screwed up or got confused) and my son ahead of me so I could keep an eye on him (turns out he didn't need me AT ALL and actually assisted me). You are connected to the line at all times, so there is no danger of you falling to the ground, trust me. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the hook and tweezle method that keeps you attached to the line, but eventually, I got it, and I know you will, too. You also have to attach yourself for the zip-line, which freaked me out at first, but also became super easy once I got the hang of it. I also want to add how fun it was to be outside and climbing in the treetops. I loved hearing the hoots and calls of other climbers as they enjoyed the zip-lines. There are sounds of laughter and fun throughout the whole park.

Jersey Momma on a green trail 

My son on a green trail

How Much Does TreEscape Cost?

As of the publication date of this entry, an adult ticket (valid for three hours of climbing) is $55 and a child ticket (ages 4-6 is $25). But always check their pricing page for the most accurate information. You may also purchase an observer ticket for a lesser fee if you are not climbing at all. Civil Service members (EMS, fire, police) can receive a 25% discounted ticket rate midweek non-holiday and 25% off on Weekends & Holidays and “Uniformed Services” Military with valid ID, too. Discount valid for person with ID, does not include entire party. Parking is free! Follow TreEscape on social media for any promos or offers, and check Groupon often, too!

When is TreEscape Open?

Here's a run-down of their hours (but again, always check their website or call ahead for the most accurate information). TreEscape opens for the season on April 30, 2022.

Night hours may be available, but call ahead or check their social channels for times and availability. Please read all information about their hours, how their reservation time slots work, and what to do if for inclement weather or ticket refunds. All of that information can be found on their website under hours/pricing or on their FAQ page.

How Long Does a TreEscape Experience Last?

Your climbing experience is supposed to last three hours, but be sure to plan a little extra time before and after (I would say our entire visit, from check in to check out, was from about 1:30pm-5:00pm. Then we stayed for dinner).  We were able to complete three green trails and one blue during our visit (for the record, I didn't do the blue trail- I thought that would've been too much for me!).

My boy on a green trail (momma needed a break!)

Where Can I Eat at TreEscape?

You are not permitted to bring your own food in the park (they do have a snack stand open there during certain seasons), but the country club where you check in has a surprisingly tasty restaurant/bar at the clubhouse called Mulligan's. It doesn't look like much when you venture past it (sorry, I hope I don't offend anyone), but we had a pretty decent meal there after our climb. They also had my favorite WHITE CLAW hard seltzer, which was a huge plus in my book! The menu and more info can be found online, and serves up a variety of sandwiches, burgers and general country club pub fare.

My TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park Video

Here's a little video of our experience at TreEscape!

Important Jersey Momma Tips and Advice

Be sure to read through all of the info on the TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park website before your arrival, as most of this info is there, too. But here are some tips and suggestions I can give you before your experience. Oh, and before you read these tips, be sure to watch my important 49 second video about safety (especially if you're worried about getting hurt):

Tips and Advice:

-your climbing experience is supposed to last about three hours, so be sure to plan a little extra time before and after (I would say our entire visit, from check in to check out, was from about 1:30pm-5:00pm. Then we stayed for dinner).

-wear comfortable, close fitting clothing (nothing too baggy or restrictive, and nothing that hangs or could get tangled in the equipment). Your harness will always be your outermost layer, and can't go beneath any clothing.

-wear good shoes (good sneakers are okay). Sandals and open toed shoes are not permitted. Honestly, I wouldn't even wear Vans or Converse! Wear a sneaker with good treads or something that grips well.

-long hair has to be pulled back or pinned up (you don't want it getting stuck in the equipment, trust me)

-please, please, please be courteous to others around you! As I mentioned above, there was a little girl in front of us on a green trail who was very fearful and taking quite a long time to get through the course. Although I totally understand, it would have been quite decent of her family to just let the faster climbers go ahead of her (which is recommended on signs throughout the park). You are delaying the valuable time and changing the whole experience for others around you by not being courteous. I truly believe we could have completed another trail during our visit had we not been delayed behind someone else for a good thirty minutes or more.

-following suit to what I just said above, choose your trails wisely! If your child is fearful, maybe not quite tall enough or strong enough, then start on the less challenging courses. If someone you are with struggles on the yellow course, then I don't recommend jumping to green for your next try. If your child is not the correct age for the trail, please don't disregard the rules.

-you can't bring bags, fanny packs or anything like that on the trails. I kept my phone in the locker. My husband had a big pocket in his jacket so he was able to keep his phone and take photos for us when he reached the platforms.

-bring a small bag with bottled water to keep in the locker. Even though it was not hot out when we visited, we still got thirsty and took a break for some water after each trail.

-there are picnic tables throughout the park so if you need to take a break, there are plenty of places to sit and relax a bit. It's very shaded beneath the trees (obviously!).

-you'll be hungry by the time you're done with this, so if you're not headed anywhere to eat right away, keep some snacks in your bags! You aren't allowed to bring your own food in the park (there is a snack stand open during certain seasons), but it would be a good idea to at least have some snacks for the car

-you might be sore the next day! It's a pretty good workout for your muscles.

-I'm not going to lie to you, there were some parts of the green trail that really scared me. I stood in the middle of some of the courses thinking, 'I can't do this,' or 'How am I going to do this?' But once I paused and took a deep breath, my mind started to figure it out. The biggest piece of advice I can give you about visiting is this: DO NOT LET YOUR FEAR TAKE OVER! The minute you start doubting yourself, you will feel the fear creep in and sabotage you. It really is a matter of letting your mind guide you, and maybe even hearing your support system call out to you, "You got this! You can do this, mommy!" That meant the world to me. My husband also kept things fun. He was behind me and would occasionally blurt out something ridiculous, which would make me laugh and help diminish the fear (at one point as I was climbing up one path, he called out, "You're a monkey, Derek!" which is one of our favorite lines from the movie, Zoolander. 🤣)

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