Wednesday October 17 3:23 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Edge Adventures Deep River Aerial Park open Weekends August 19th through September 30th, adds Fridays through November 4th

08/18/2018 - 10:00
11/04/2018 - 18:00

Edge Adventures is announcing several schedule changes. The park will be open during regular hours daily except Tuesday through August 13th. For the month of September, the park will be open during regular hours on Saturdays and Sundays. During October, the park will also be open on Fridays from 4:00-8:00 pm for a night climb. Lights will be added to the course, and every climber will be issued a head lamp. The park will close for the season on November 4th.

One of Northwest Indiana’s newest, most challenging parks is tucked into a secluded forest area just off Route 30. Edge Adventures Deep River Aerial Park, a tree to tree adventure course featuring more than 50 treetop obstacles, is next door to Deep River Waterpark. In fact, if you’re floating along on the Lazy River at Deep River Waterpark, you can look up and see people in the trees.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to travel from tree to tree, never putting your feet on the ground? On a hot Saturday afternoon in May, my son Owen, my granddaughter Molly, and I set out for Edge Park hoping we were up for the challenge.

Edge Adventures Aerial Park shares a driveway with Deep River Waterpark. Instead of driving into the large parking lot, turn to the right and you’ll see the sign. Park your car and stroll into the woods and you’ll see the aerial obstacle courses.

There are seven courses on the property, color coded by difficulty: yellow is the easiest, then green, brown, blue and the hardest, purple. The black course is zip line only. In addition, there is a junior course for the smaller set. Before starting, everyone gets instruction, then everyone gets a helmet, a harness and gloves.

Sally Burch, Director of Operations, told me that the park, which is very safety conscious, is set up on a belay system. Everyone is always hooked in. She said “Visitors who have tried zip lining while on vacation somewhere, are always amazed when they put on a harness because they’ve just had to wear a belt elsewhere and they realize how unsafe they were.” She said her staff is constantly watching as they roam the park so they can get someone down who might be having a difficulty.

To do the courses, children must reach 66” while standing flat footed. Molly was totally chagrined when she couldn’t reach. She didn’t want to hear that she was limited to the ‘kids course’ – she didn’t mind so much when it was called the junior course. Molly just turned nine, and she’s small, so the junior course was quite challenging for her.

All of the self-guided courses start from the same tree, with 2 courses starting from each ladder. There are color-coded signs explaining difficulty. As people go from tree to tree 20 to 70 feet in the air, they encounter a different kind of obstacle after every tree. After conquering the yellow course, Owen said it was fun and challenging, but he thought it would be more fun on a cooler day.

The park is filled with tall, well-developed trees. Burch told me that when they built the park, they didn’t take any trees down, designing the courses to fit the existing trees and clearing some of the ground cover and adding wood chips.

Deep River, which opened in May, 2017, is their third park. The first, Koteewi Aerial Park in Noblesville. opened in July, 2016. The second, Rum Village Aerial Park in South Bend, opened in August 2016. The next park will be in Wooddale, Illinois. All three are located inside or adjacent to an existing park

Burch told me that their greatest obstacle is that nobody knows what an aerial adventure is. People have to see it to understand.

Edge Adventures Deep River Aerial Park is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m through August 13th. Last start time is 4 p.m. They take 20 people every 30 minutes. The last start time is 4 p.m. In addition to individuals, the park will take groups from 10 to 150 people, corporate, clubs, teams, birthday parties, etc.

Reservations are encouraged on the website, Admission for 2 hours: 8-12 years old, $32; adults $42. Admission for 3 hours is just $7 more ($39-$49). All day is $79.