Hidden among the trees behind The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park, Texas TreeVentures’ infrastructure is nearly complete, with safety training scheduled over the coming weeks before the anticipated public opening in mid-April.
Chris Nunes, director of The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department, said the new outdoor addition will be a way to activate the recreation center and the George Mitchell Preserve while bringing in visitors from the surrounding area.
“[There is nothing like this] in this immediate area where you are up and touching trees,” Nunes said. “There are commercial entities indoors that may have a handful of these elements but not to this scope.”
Despite extending up to 40 feet in the air, Nunes said participating in the course is a calming experience and a way for visitors to challenge themselves along various paths. After a visitor attaches the safety harness to a cable and takes an easy walk to get onto the course, the path splits into two or three options from which to choose.
The reason for offering choices, such as taking a path resembling a rope bridge or going through triangle-shaped obstacles that move under weight, is to allow guests to enjoy the course at their leisure, he said.
“Now they have a sense of accomplishment,” Nunes said. “We’re running this like a pool, where we’ll have staff positioned on the course. … If traffic gets stalled, we can verbally walk them through.”
Texas TreeVentures will be geared toward groups and teams looking for bonding experiences, as well as maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere, he said. Although under construction, the venue will also feature a rentable shelter and a firepit, with Nunes saying the plan will be to eventually host nighttime experiences.
The activities are for age 13 and over, and some height and weight restrictions will apply.
While there will be an admission fee to Texas TreeVentures, the proceeds will go toward funding other programs, facilities and events by The Woodlands Township parks and recreation department because it is a public facility, Nunes said.
Dedicated staff members for the facility will spend the coming weeks training to ensure the opening goes smoothly. The training will consist of spending 40 hours with an instructor to learn how to get visitors on and off the course, how to instruct and guide people on the course, how to calm guests down if they begin to panic and how to rescue a guest if the need arises.
Aside from training, Nunes said staff members are working with first responders to determine how to get vehicles and personnel to Texas TreeVentures.
“We need to be [prepared],” Nunes said. “This is magnified because you’re 10, 20, 40 feet in the air.”
Nunes added the attraction has been promoted on social media and will get its own website, and so far the public response has been positive.
“This will be fun,” he said. “It will be out of everyone’s element because most people haven’t tried something like this in this area, and we’re anticipating a really good turnout. We’re standing in the middle of trees right now, and there’s no better place to be, especially with your family.”
6464 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands