Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Wild Center's Wild Walk: Let's Our Inner Child Come Out to Play!

Tupper Lake's Wild Center is asking people to look and leap while relishing in its latest adventure, The Wild Walk. Part interactive nature center and part nature playground, The Wild Walk is a Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse adventure that has us crawling, swinging and grasping with childlike awe for all that our wild surroundings provide. It allows us to sit quietly in nature in benches or swing chairs or jump feet first into a giant spider's web.  

A tree house, hollowed tree have interactive elements
demonstrating the Adirondack natural environment
The Wild Center in Tupper Lake has always been a "go to" spot for my family. Whether we go to a solar workshop to increase our green footprint, watch the otters frolic in their own waterpark or just relax at the natural playground, The Pines, each visit is a different experience.

With extended family soon to visit, we get to share the latest wild expansion that is taking down the museum walls and  "transforming the way people can see into the natural world" through the Wild Center's Wild Walk.

The Wild Walk, open to The Wild Center members for previews June 27 and open to the public July 4, features eight (8) interactive stations in a gentle incline that climbs 40 ft. into the tree line to a full-size eagle's nest overlooking the Adirondack High Peaks. Completely handicap accessible,

Four elements of play line the walkway to The Wild Walk
Since its inception in 1998, The Wild Center has continued to expand and provide interactive experiences that educate, but always invite everyone's inner child to come out to play. Kudos to the founders/administrators and staff of this Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks for the forethought when designing and building this museum dedicated to science-based learning and the natural surroundings of the six-million -acre Adirondack Park. Each year my children grow, this museum's diverse offerings grow as well.

Kew Gardens Xstrata Treetop Walkway
A few years ago my family walked along a similar treetop walkway at Kew Gardens, outside of London. The Xstrata Treetop Walkway had a few of the interactive elements, but was a more simplistic version of The Wild Walk. The Xstrata was my family's first experience with a treetop walk and my kids loved it. They were able to sit quietly with nature or run along the sky-high paths making them feel like they were flying.

The Wild Walk starts out slow with a bird blind allowing the small and the tall to observe migratory birds in their natural environment. Bird feeders line the outside walls with identification and interactive elements lining the inside walls. There are always options and pathways to choose.

Jumping onto the Wild Walk's giant spider web
My daughter and her friend were very patient through our recent tour of the Wild Walk, commenting on the most minute details The Wild Center has added to make the experience as close to walking among nature, like the green railing that replicates pine needles. Original artwork and sculptures by local artists line pathways or hidden along the way.

It is too much to ask for children and adults to hold back from jumping on the enormous rope "spider web," climbing a tree house or walking along three suspension bridges to enter the inside of a hollowed out tree.

The Eagle's Nest is the size of an real eagle's nest. 
There is too much to observe on one visit, which is why we will be going back again and again. Don't miss The Wild Walk!

Whether it's enjoying a workshop, the museum's "please touch me" rooms, walking the trails or experiencing the new Wild Walk, you will want to get caught in The Wild Center's web.

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

2 comments:

Gay Edelman said...

Very helpful. Thinking of a visit but worried about fear of heights. Will I be okay?

Diane Chase said...

Hi Gay, The highest point of the Wild Walk is 40'. It is a gradual walk to the highest point with plenty of space in the center to go if the height is bothersome. The structure is wide for the most part. The only issue may be the suspension bridges, but they are not at the highest point. I don't think it would be an issue for someone with a fear of heights, I hope you are able to go and find it as wonderful as we did! Please let me know what you thought.
Kindly, Diane