You'll soon be able to take in California's majestic redwood trees — the tallest in the world — on another level.
On June 4, Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka will debut the Redwood Sky Walk, allowing visitors to wander along a quarter-mile route that's 100 feet off the forest ground. Even with that boost, the upper canopy of trees stretches about 250 feet high, providing a truly immersive sense of being among nature.
The self-guided experience starts at a gateway that leads to a 360-foot-long ramp ascending into a network of nine platforms, each with a different perspective of the forest. The total out-and-back path is about 1,104 feet, making it the longest skywalk in the western U.S.
Before the faint of heart get too nervous, this isn't an adventure course — the platforms and bridges are made out of fabricated aluminium with a Dynaplank surface featuring guardrails constructed from cable and metal mesh for a sturdy and safe experience.
There aren't any stairs, so the experience is ADA accessible. The only exception to that — and the stability — is the "adventure leg" of the walk, a 369-foot-long, three-foot-wide stretch of square open mesh decking, which does have a bit of sway, but allows for an even more seamless way to melt into the forest surroundings. (This section is optional for visitors.)
The $4 million project was built with the health of the redwood trees top of mind. "The technique and mechanics of these attachments have been designed specifically to ensure negligible impact on the trees to which they are anchored and provide room for them to continue to grow unimpeded," the Redwood Sky Walk's site explains. They also caution visitors not to touch the trees in order to minimize human impact on the natural wonders.
One ticket will grant access to both the Sky Walk and Sequoia Park Zoo, the oldest accredited zoo in the Golden State. Admission costs $24.95 for adults ages 13 to 59, $22.95 for those 60 and older, and $12.95 for those two to 12 years old. (Humboldt County residents receive a discount of $10 off adult prices and $2 off child admission.)
Opening weekend will be packed with activities that showcase the possibilities of the Redwood Sky Walk, with a yoga class and forest bathing session up among the trees.
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