BRISTOL — Local thrill-seekers participated in the most unique tour ever offered at Bristol Woods County Park on Saturday.
Boundless Adventures, the owner of a six-acre climbing course, officially opened for business on a steamy, summer-like day in perhaps one of the most beautiful settings imaginable.
The early-morning rain created a late-arriving crowd, comprised primarily of families with younger children.
There was plenty of excitement, and sweat-soaked shirts, as visitors are first harnessed with safety straps and sent off to explore nine elevated courses of varying skill levels.
There are logs, pads, planks, perches, webs and zip lines connected throughout an oak canopy, typically reserved for birds and squirrels.
Kenosha's Sara Stanard, 41, joined her two children, ages 7 and 10, through the courses for the three-hour time allotment.
"I was a terrified the first time I went on the zip line," Stanard said. "Now, I think that's the best part. It's really fun."
First Midwest location
After opening adventure parks in New York and Massachusetts, Boundless Adventures chose Kenosha County for its first Midwest location.
The company offers a variety of group options for birthday parties, school field trips, corporate outings and organizations.
Kait Miller is the local operations manager for Boundless Adventures. The 29-year-old has a bachelor's degree in recreation services management from East Stroudsburg University (Pa.) and came to Kenosha after offering guided tours through the Poconos.
Miller said the local adventure course is equally fun and challenging. All guests go through a 30-minute safety and training orientation.
"You're pushing your boundaries," Miller said. "And you're getting a workout with a view much better than the gym."
Plenty of thrills
Boundless Adventures offers a different sort of thrill from other theme parks — such as Six Flags — at a comparable cost.
Parking is free, and visitors are allowed to bring in their own food and drinks. There are water stations and picnic tables scattered throughout the grounds.
Miller said a number of groups have already reserved dates throughout the summer.
"It's a great team-building event," Miller said. "We have sports teams booked, summer camps, companies. It's all about problem-solving. It makes you think, 'How am I going to get through this?'
"There's also teamwork because someone is encouraging you through it and offering guidance and help and the support you might need."
Bobby Cowan, 59, of Beloit watched his 7-year-old grandson, Carmelo, soar from limb to limb.
"The staff has been really polite, and they've been encouraging him," Cowan said. "He picked it up pretty well. He started off working with the harness. It seemed a little complicated at first, but he got the hang of it real quick.
"These kids are fearless. He started zipping around and then he was off to the races. He did well."