2007_07_ropeclimb.jpgAlley Pond Park, the second biggest park in Queens, has a new attraction: The biggest adventure ropes course in the Northeast. Last Friday, the Park Department opened up the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course, which has zip lines, a climbing wall, webs, swings, trust falls, and balance boards.

The course consists of 20 high and low elements that can be both physically and emotionally challenging and also encourages a connection with nature. The low elements take place on the ground or on cables a few feet above the ground. Many of these elements are handicap accessible and concentrate on team building and problem solving skills. High elements take place on cables suspended 45 feet in the air, require a harness and climbing rope for safety, and focus personal achievements as they may require participants to confront personal fears. The Adventure Course staff is trained in program implementation and safety techniques.

According to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, this is part of the department's way of adding activities inspired by extreme sports (like the Highbridge Trails mountain biking trail). Hmm, does this mean we can expect a winter snowboarding course at some point?

There are free programs at the Adventure course on Sundays, between 10AM to 4PM. The course is available for full-day or overnight packages ($250 for full-day, $500 for overnight).