Be brave. You hear this all the time and it can mean different things in different situations. I decided it was time to be brave and face my fear of heights. I was not jumping off bridges or doing anything extreme but I was stepping out of my comfort zone by doing the Sky High Adventure Park at the Holiday Valley Resort.
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets for the Sky High attractions. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.
What’s Inside: Our Rochester weekend getaway to Sky High Aerial Adventure Park at the Holiday Valley Resort.
On our recent girls’ trip weekend getaway we wanted to add a little adventure to our weekend so my sister, daughter, and myself decided to brave the Sky High Aerial Adventure Park at the Holiday Valley Resort. Holiday Valley is a resort located in Ellicottville, New York and has year round activities for families that include skiing, mountain biking, swimming, golf, and more.
I have always been interested in doing a ropes course but I was nervous my fear of heights would get in the way. I really wanted to give it a try though and not let fear hold me back. Although I am not swinging from the trees or climbing the highest platforms, I’m happy to say it was a success!
Girls’ Trip Adventure: Sky High Adventure Park
To be honest, I was kind of scared to do the Sky High Aerial Adventure course. It helped that I decided to do this adventure with my daughter. I wouldn’t let any fear show because I wanted to be brave for her. I highly suggest bringing your kids along when you face your fears. They will push you and make you brave.
Sky High Adventure Park consists of a ropes course, climbing forest, Mountain Coaster, and an all New Gem Mining Experience. The costs vary based on what activities you would like to do. You can learn more here.
Start Your Sky High Aerial Adventure
Sky High Adventure Park is located at the Holiday Valley Resort. Drive up the hill and past the Inn at Holiday Valley and Tamarack Club. You will arrive at the park. There they have a café, restrooms, sitting areas, and the adventure park.
We arrived, parked and headed over to check in. Your Sky High pass is good for 3 hours of time on the course. You decide how long you would like to stay and what courses you would like to do. They suggest you work your way up from beginners to most difficult. Before you start the courses you will be fitted for your safety gear and then taken through a quick presentation of how everything works.
I am a hands on learner and listening to the presentation left me with more questions than answers. I needed to play with the gear so I could understand how it all actually worked while doing the course. Thankfully after the presentation you go to a small practice course that is a few feet off the ground. Here you learn how to use your equipment and practice the zip line.
This was incredibly helpful and there are staff that will help go through everything with you. I was so happy we had the opportunity to do this. My daughter, sister, and I felt much better after we went through the practice. Then we were ready to walk to the course.
The Courses of the Sky High Aerial Adventure
The walk up the hill to the course is no joke. I was hoping my mom and niece could join us to watch but it was not at all stroller friendly. If you have people in your group that plan to watch make sure they can physically walk up the hill. If not there are places to sit and wait. They can also do the Mountain Coaster that doesn’t require you to walk up the hill.
Once we arrived to the course there are benches and water for you to prepare for the first course. All courses start from the same platform. You climb the ladder to the top of the platform and choose your adventure. There are 13 courses to choose from.
- 3 yellow courses (Sunflower, Sunshine and Snapdragon)
- 5 greens (Forest Run, Mountain Trail, Grand Rapids I and Grand Rapids II and Fern Gully)
- 2 blues (Waterfall and Rip Tide)
- 2 single black diamonds (Black Storm and Black Widow)
- 1 double black…The Commando! All courses except Commando have at least one zip line and some have several.
We started with the Snapdragon and got all three yellow courses completed. I find the first course to be the most difficult because you are learning your equipment and getting comfortable with everything. As we progressed we moved quicker and felt more confident on the courses. It took us about 2 hours to finish the first three courses. I think a more experienced person would move much faster but we were having fun and moving at our own pace.
During the first course there was a moment where I almost froze. It may not seem like much to some but I almost let my fear take over. I repeated Be Brave in my head and continued the obstacle. It was not easy I way truly scared. I couldn’t wait to get back on the ground.
Once I did get on the ground my perspective changed. We were all so proud of ourselves and I couldn’t wait to try the next one. It was much easier because I was more confident and comfortable. Being brave gets a little easier as you push yourself.
Our goal was to finish the yellow courses and we did it! As you move up in courses the height and difficultly levels increase. Yellow is about 15ft-20ft and they all increase from there. I was so proud of myself and my daughter for facing our fears and accomplishing the course.
Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster at Sky High Adventure Park
After we walked down the hill, returned our gear and caught up with my mom we were all ready to try the Mountain Coaster. To ride the Mountain Coaster you need to be 3 years old and 38 inches. Children must be at least 8 years old and 54 inches to ride alone.
The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster climbs up the hill and then you are in charge of how fast or slow you ride down. Each cart is equipped with controls to make it go fast or slow. This was really fun and relaxing. I enjoyed the scenic view up and down the mountain and I would highly suggest it for kids that are old enough to ride.
New at Sky High Adventure Park
Opening June 2018 is the all new Mister Happy Gem Mining.
Targeted to children as young as 2, the experience mimics old fashioned panning for gold. Each miner purchases a bag of sand that contains either gems or fossils. The contents of the bag are dumped into a frame with a screen on the bottom. Miners wash the sand away with water that runs through a 65 foot long sluice and the treasures are left in the pan. An identification card is included for children to learn more about their gems or fossils.
We really enjoyed our visit to Sky High Adventure Park. It was a great addition to our Girls’ Weekend at Holiday Valley and I would love to go back and conquer the next level course. Check out the video of how we braved the zipline!
More New York State Activities for Families:
- New York Destinations for Families
- Family Day Trip to Hidden Valley Animal Adventure Park
- Visiting Corning Museum of Glass for Families