High atop the pinnacle of a giant fir tree is a place usually reserved for nesting birds or licensed arborists. Most people don’t scamper along suspension walkways or zip across treetops 30-feet above ground—unless you’ve found your way to Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston, Oregon.
Tree to Tree (or T2T as it’s called by co-owner Julie Beres) is an aerial paradise that encourages people to step outside their comfort zone in a safe and certified, outdoor environmental “classroom.”
“The course is designed to meet our guest’s challenge,” said Beres. Beres’ family started the business in 2010 following a visit to a friend’s tree adventure park in the Adirondacks. “My daughter, Marissa Doyle, was the brainchild behind getting the business established in Oregon. Once we had our plans in hand, we put on a big search for land, looking for just the right mix of trees, topography, and location.”
Beres and Doyle found the talent for design and construction within their own family. “We’re fortunate that all of our family members are so full of talent,” said Beres. “We have engineers, architects, builders and marketers who managed to combine their skills and make this park a success.”
Located a short distance from Portland (off Highway 47 near Hagg Lake), T2T appeals to families, corporations, schools, and other groups who want to combine thrilling outdoor activity with team and confidence building skills. Beres said the individual courses are designed to accommodate the most timid to all-out tree-top champion.
“You can progress from easy to hard if you like. It’s really entirely up to the individual. You get to direct the challenge and go as high (or as low) as you want. But safety is our first concern and no one goes forward on any of the courses unless they’re harnessed in.”
T2T provides a licensed facilitations director who tailors challenge-courses for every style of group experience whether a bachelor party or professional organization with several hundred participants.
“The goal is to build loyalty and trust,” Beres said. “All of the programs are outdoor team-building courses. Absolutely no dry erase boards are ever used here! Even if a business comes to us with 200 employees, we can break them into smaller groups and move them through the various obstacles or zip-lines at different stages.”
New this year to T2T, is the May 1st launch of a new 1,250-foot long zip-line. “We got a little delayed in opening the new zip line because of our wet weather,” said Beres. “It’s an amazing addition, because you get to experience the awesome canopy of the park. These are mammoth trees and the zip travels over ravines and close to the lake.
“We even have a special “Zip, Sip, and Stay” package, where you can come enjoy the line and then visit the nearby wineries, restaurants and the lake. It’s also the perfect stopping point for people on their way to the Oregon Coast.”
Healthy trees equal safe trees and safe courses
Forest health is paramount to the success of any tree adventure park. Not only does T2T employ certified arborists and foresters, but all of the trees in the course were hand selected for their strength, health and safety. Beres said the park was constructed by Synergo in Portland, Oregon—a professional course design and installation company—whose experience in the field helps ensure safety.
“We also make certain that our guides are safety and course certified. They have to know what they’re doing and take an active part in making sure our participants are safe. We have a lot of pride and faith in our staff,” said Beres.
Although Beres and her family are relatively new OTE sign customers (they applied for their permits in 2010), their Tourist Oriented Directionals (TODs) help bring new visitors their way each season.
T2T is open March 3rd through the last Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. Reservations are required for anyone wishing to visit the park. For more information, visit T2T’s website at www.treetotreeadventurepark.com or phone 503-357-0109 for reservations.