Zip Lines and Adventure Ropes Courses for Kids in and Around NJ
Gear up for an outdoor adventure at one of New Jersey's treetop obstacle courses, or buckle up for a soaring ride on a zip line. Swaying bridges, wobbly balance logs, cargo nets, high wires, and rope ladders are among the features at some sky-high ropes courses, along with tree climbers and platforms built right into tree trunks. Many treetop courses are best for older kids and teens, but some also offer tykes courses closer to the ground.
We've rounded up some of the coolest zip lines and ropes courses in New Jersey, plus a few in Pennsylvania, and even a trio of options just over the border in New York, including one year-round pick. You'll find these parks at local zoos, amusement parks, down on the Jersey Shore, and even at some of the Poconos family resorts.
Note: Most of these parks are open only spring through fall. All require signed waivers, safety harnesses, and closed-toe athletic shoes to participate. Please pay attention to height and age restrictions, and book reservations ahead of time for the most popular parks. Don't forget to bring a mask.
Zip Lines and Ropes Courses in New Jersey
Walk a tightrope at Cape May County Tree to Tree Adventure Park.
1. Cape May County Tree to Tree Adventure Park – Cape May
Located at the Cape May County Park and Zoo, this high ropes course features pulleys, tightropes, rope swings, climbers, and ladders. Geared toward adults and children age 7 and older, it features six different color-coded courses, with the most difficult ones reserved for adults. The season runs May through October; daily during the summer, but weekends only in spring and fall. Reservations are required, along with a 20-minute training session.
2. Diggerland Rope Course – West Berlin
Towering above the parking lot, this four-story, rope climbing structure is not for tots. Suit up in a safety harness and try to climb the rope ladders and bridges to the top of this enclosed course before heading into Diggerland to explore the backhoes, trucks, excavators, and a brand new water park. A 32-story rock-climbing wall is right next to the ropes course. The height minimum is 42-inches to climb with an adult. Closed-toe/heel shoes are required. Open March–November.
3. Essex County TreeTop Adventure Course – West Orange
Adjacent to the Turtle Back Zoo, this aerial obstacle course features both adult and junior courses, as well as a 40-foot-high zip line. The kids' course is 10-feet high with 15 different challenge elements, from ladders and bridges to climbers and swings. The adult course is 35-feet high and features 30 different elements. Open on weekends, weather permitting. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Jenkinson's Adventure Lookout Ropes Course
4. Jenkinson's Adventure Lookout Ropes Course – Point Pleasant Beach
2020 update: Masks and gloves are required and will be provided if you do not have them. A 20-minute course limit is in effect due to occupancy limits.
This family-friendly beach and boardwalk include a ropes course with two different levels: a Jr. Adventure Course for children less than 48-inches, and a 36-foot-high course that kids taller than 42-inches can climb with an adult. Brightly colored climbers, cargo nets, a pirate's plank, and zip line make this a must-do when the surf is too rough, or your kids want a change from traditional boardwalk rides. Visitors must wear closed-toed shoes, and tank tops, dresses, and bathing suits are not allowed. Open April–October.
5. Mountain Creek TreEscape and Zip Tours – Vernon
2020 update: Face coverings are required.
A popular warm-weather attraction at this ski resort, the zip line soars above a mountain-top lake, offers panoramic views of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Make a zip tour part of an overnight getaway, and enjoy the resort's pool and other amenities. Kids must be at least 60 pounds and 48-inches tall to ride. Open Friday–Sunday, weather-permitting, and reservations are required. Or check out the TreEscape Adventure Park, which opened in 2017, where kids 4+ can tackle rope walks, obstacles, climbing elements, and zip lines. Open spring through fall.
6. iPlay America Ropes Course – Freehold
2020 update: The Sky Trail High Ropes Course and Sky Tykes Kids Ropes Course remain closed due to the pandemic.
The newest addition to this indoor play land, the Sky Trail high ropes course and Sky Kidz ropes course test your kids' agility with rope bridges, zig-zag beams, cargo nets, and vertical ladders. The Sky Kidz course is for children less than 48-inches, and the height minimum for Sky Trail is 48-inches. Open year-round.
7. Six Flags Soaring Eagle Zip Line – Jackson
2020 update: Due to its location within the Safari Off-Road adventure portion of the park, which is currently operating as a drive-thru, the Soaring Eagle is currently closed.
Part of the safari at Six Flags Great Adventure, this family-style zip line takes two riders soaring above the amusement park and safari, providing a bird's-eye view of roller coasters and safari animals. Riders are seated for a backward glide above Camp Aventura, the park's animal nursery area, before being released for a zooming zip ride. The minimum height requirement is 42 inches to ride with an adult or 48 inches to ride alone. There is an additional fee for the Soaring Eagle, which is not covered by park or safari admission. Open April–December. Check the website for operating hours.
Zip Lines and Ropes Courses in Pennsylvania
8. Pocono TreeVentures and Zip Racer – East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
This family-friendly aerial course includes eight ropes courses with more than 90 elements, some reaching a height of 40-feet. Included in that is a Zip Quest with nine zip lines connected by platforms. A special KidVenture course is geared toward ages 4–7. The Zip Racer, featuring dueling 1,000-foot zip lines, is an added attraction. Open year-round, weather permitting.
9. Camelback Mountain Adventures TreeTop Course – Tannersville, Pennsylvania
2020 update: The Camelback Mountain Adventures TreeTop course is currently closed; no firm reopening date has been set. Guests can take advantage of the resort's pair of zip lines, mountain coaster, and Segway tours.
Plan an offseason visit to this family-favorite ski resort, and try your skill on the elaborate ropes course featuring 100 aerial obstacles. The main course is for adults and kids ages 9 and up with a vertical reach of 5-foot-9. A Lil' Explorers course is open to kids who can reach 4-foot-10. Open daily April–November, weather permitting. Reservations required.
Zip Lines and Ropes Courses in New York
Adventurous types can tackle the Palisades Climb Adventure in the Palisades Center Mall. Though not shown in the photo, masks are required.
10. Palisades Climb Adventure – West Nyack
Towering 85 feet high inside the massive Palisades Center Mall, this indoor ropes course is not for the faint of heart. Accessed from the fourth level of the mall, the course features 75 different challenges, from beginner to expert, including a tremor bridge, vertical rope ladder, cargo net climber, tight ropes, and balance beams. A separate Sky Tykes course is geared toward kids less than 48-inches tall. Open year-round.
11. Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure — Bronx Park
Seven courses await at this adventure park companion to our favorite NYC zoo. The highlight, though, is undoubtedly the 400-foot-zip line that whisks you across the Bronx River and back—beware, though, this is a separate charge. The climbing portion of the Treetop Adventure course includes seven course options of varying difficulty and is made up of wobbly bridges, ladders, tightropes, and more. The best part? It's set into the tree canopy. With all the wildlife around, perhaps it will feel like a true jungle adventure. Visitors must be at least 7 years old and able to reach 5-foot-6 inches from flat feet. The Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure is a separate experience from the zoo and requires its own tickets.
Boundless Adventures has nine different challenging courses where visitors can test their skills.
12. Boundless Adventures — Purchase
This outdoor adventure course offers four different types of courses for visitors to explore, and guests as young as 7 years old can get in on the action on the beginner courses, which rise 10 feet above the ground. The expert-level courses rise 30-40 feet above ground level, and guests must be 14 or older to try their hand on them. Climbers are fitted with full-body harnesses and walked through safety training before they are let loose on the courses, and given 3 hours to challenge themselves all they want. Most visitors can complete between two and five of the nine courses during a single adventure. Some courses require adult supervision, either from the ground or accompanying kids along the trail.
Unless noted, all photos courtesy of the courses/parks. This post has been updated for 2020.