Here’s How You Can Walk Above the Trees in Northern California

Majestic redwoods
Majestic redwoods | © Jason Hollinger / Flickr
Photo of Deanna Morgado
23 April 2018

Words such as “majestic,” “epic,” and “spiritual” are often used to describe what it’s like to see Northern California’s Great Redwoods in person. Indeed, many world explorers carry this ancient forest on their travel bucket lists, among many other thrilling adventures.

But when standing on the ground and looking up at the redwood giants isn’t enough, there’s a way to ascend the forest and walk among these ancient trees. This adventure is possible in Felton, California, a town where a certain company takes adventuring seriously.

At local Felton company Mount Hermon Adventures, where they specialize in excursions in the redwoods, they offer visitors an “Aerial Adventure,” where walking among the enormous trees is made possible via an obstacle course connecting various areas.

Humboldt Redwood Forest Single_tonemapped | © Scrubhiker (USCdyer) / Flickr

Participants choose the level of their Aerial Adventure, with courses fit for kids, adults, and everyone in between. Mount Hermon staff safely secures everyone to the obstacle course with harnesses, wires, and hooks, and once everyone’s safety gear is on and fastened, visitors can begin climbing through the trees, on their way to discovering the forest’s majesty.

Canopy_Walk_2 | © Steve Cornish / Flickr

Swinging logs, zip cables, swaying bridges, cargo nets, and more hang anywhere between 30–80 feet (9.1–24.3 meters) above the ground—often an enticing height for thrill-seekers. Very few people in the world receive the opportunity to experience Northern California’s Redwood Forest like Mount Hermon offers, exposing people to a whole other world that takes place dozens of feet off the ground. With the self-guided course, combined with its interactive elements and challenges, each group walking among the trees receives a comprehensive tour of the forest, without any lack of heart-pumping fun.

Zip-lining at Mount Hermon | © bradleyolin / Flickr

Participants feel at one with these ancient redwoods as they explore them at wondrous heights. And when merely walking among these giants isn’t enough, the excitement builds up at the end of each Aerial Adventure when visitors have to choose between hitching a ride back down to the earth on one of Mount Hermon’s zip-lines or via the quick jump. The latter is when forest explorers step off the course and allow the trees and gravity (and their harnesses) to gently bring them back down.

Foothill Trail in Redwood National Park | © Redwood Coast / Flickr

The Aerial Adventure at Mount Hermon is ideal for big groups looking for something out of the ordinary, thrilling but also humbling. Experiencing the Northern California Redwoods that high off the ground, in the same soaring space those trees have occupied for perhaps thousands of years, evokes a sense of perspective in participants. That kind of view makes people realize the power of nature, giving into a sense of wonderment that the earth is powerful enough to create such a forest.

Majestic redwoods | © Jason Hollinger / Flickr

Mount Hermon requires that all participants be above the age of 10, over 4’6’’ (1.3 meters) in height, and weigh over 75 pounds (34 kilograms) but no more than 250 (113 kilograms). Each adventure gives visitors an entire two hours of discovery, climbing, swinging, and, of course, walking among the trees. These elevated paths are open year-round, granting those who wish to experience the Northern California Redwoods in every season the opportunity to do so.

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