Tourists soon will be able to walk through the region’s redwoods on a trail … that sways several feet above the ground.
Trees of Mystery, in Klamath, is working on its newest attraction, one that it says no other redwood forest in the Northern Hemisphere has - an aerial trail through majestic redwoods that’s been named the Redwood Canopy Trail.
“It’s gonna be a great addition for the business and our customers,” said Jesse Laforest, chief operating officer of Trees of Mystery.
The outdoor attraction is located in the center of Redwood National and State Parks and offers interesting and accessible ways for guests to experience some of the world’s largest trees.
The new Canopy Trail will consist of platforms on nine trees linked by suspended walkways. In total, it will stretch about 600 feet in length. The highest platform is planned to sit some 140 feet off the ground.
Visitors will need walk but a short distance from the attraction’s entrance to reach the aerial trail. After taking in the view from a round platform surrounding the tree, they’ll be able to stroll along a wooden bridge, with netted sides, and move along to the next tree.
“We’re always looking for something new, some other way for our guests to really experience the trees,” said Laforest.
To complete the project, Trees of Mystery has contracted with Tree-Mendous, a company that specializes in creating tree houses, zip lines and aerial playgrounds.
Trees of Mystery planned the trail more than a year ago, Tree-Mendous began its construction Aug. 19, after creating its design. “[It] takes a while to figure out how to do it,” said Laforest, “who can do it and how much it’s gonna cost.”
The trail is projected to be halfway finished by Oct. 18, although the crew will have an additional eight weeks of work until completion, said Tree-Mendous site superintendent Brandon Hintz.
The crew of 10, eight from Tree-Mendous and two from Trees of Mystery, can’t afford to fear heights to take on this project. Led by Hintz, they’ll be navigating the narrow trails and climbing high into the redwoods to create a memorable experience for visitors.
Using a combination of rock- and tree-climbing gear, crew members will hoist themselves up the giant trees and then leverage metal beams to create a box-like frame, before lifting wooden beams to create a round platform around the tree. Then, they’ll add a wooden rail ringing the platforms for safety.
This project is just one of many offered by Trees of Mystery. With trails, wooden sculptures, a gondola and gift shop, the venue provides entertainment and redwood tree history to all who visit.
Since 1946, it has been owned and operated by the Thompson family. Current owner John Thompson is the family’s third generation.
The park serves about 400,000 guests a year. “The big deal for me is to have people come here and have fun and enjoy what they’re doing,” said Laforest.