Mountain Creek unveils TreEscape

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  • Guests clipo harnesses to steel cables at the beginning of a ropes course.

  • Staff member Connor Collins demonstrates a challenging blue-route bridge.

  • PHOTOS BY ERIC GREEN Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway and Jeff Koffman cut the ribbon.

  • Day campers receive last-minute instructions from staff member Bobby Blair.

If you’re adventurous enough to climb into a harness and clip on to a steel cable up to 60 feet above the ground, then Mountain Creek’s new TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park may be the place for you.

Said to be Sussex County’s first ‘ropes course’, the park offers guests the chance to walk not only under the trees but in them.

Located on eight acres of wooded terrain at 414 County Road 517 in Vernon Township, TreEscape held its official grand opening with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m.

The ceremonial scissors were wielded by Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, and Mountain Creek owner Jeff Koffman. Also present were Jason Bays, Mountain Creek’s chief operating officer, Tannie Horsefield, president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, and Michelle Downtain, director of recreation for Vernon Township.

“This is a really cool course,” Bays said, in a short dedication before the ribbon was cut. “It’s not just for kids or adults, it’s really for everyone.”

Not long after the ribbon parted, kids from the Mountain Creek Day Camp and other guests began to queue up, ready for the day’s adventure. Their first stop was a rack holding some very impressive safety harnesses. Fortunately, staff members, Debbie Masiello, Bobby Blair, and Connor Collins were on hand to help guests securely strap into the complicated-looking rig. But if you think the cool get-up is only there for show, think again.

“There are two things you need to remember,” the staff told the group. “Only one person on a bridge at any time, and no more than three people on a platform.”

‘Bridge’, in this case, may be an overly optimistic description. One look at the tenuous rope, cable, and wood links strung between platforms, and guests should have little trouble remembering the first part of the safety equation. Venture onto one of the more challenging courses and you may be left scratching your head, wondering just how you plan to cross the yawning gulf in front of you, but it’s all part of the fun. Still, you’ll be grateful for the solid straps on your harness that keep you securely clipped to a strong steel cable at all times.

There are 10 courses in all in the park, each color-coded to indicate the level of difficulty. Yellow courses are the least strenuous, followed by green, blue, and finally black courses, the most difficult. But even the beginner and intermediate routes in TreEscape are challenging, requiring a fair amount of stamina and attention to balance.

TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park is open Monday–Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. For parents with children between the ages of four and six, TreEscape also offers a ‘Kids Park’. Reservations can be made on the TreEscape website:

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