Can Kids Enjoy Wilderness Tours and Canopy Adventures with ArborTrek?

Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

While planning my family’s day trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont, I was lucky enough to get the best advice from Karen Boushie, PR director. Thanks to her recommendation she directed us to check out ArborTrek Canopy Adventures.

ArborTrek is less than five minute drive from Smuggler’s Notch Resort, you do need a car, but you can also have the shuttle from the resort drive you there and pick you up.

I’ll be honest with you, when I first looked at the website and I was a bit wary if it was appropriate for my whole family. I figured it was great for my 11 year old, but my five year old doesn’t like to be left out. And what fun is a family trip if one of my kids can’t do everything.

5 year old at Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

We were in for a grand surprise!

ArborTrek’s Canopy Adventure and Wilderness Tours – Kid Friendly? 

Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff and they immediately told us that my five year old can participate as much as he wanted. This was a huge relief for me, however, once they started to explain the courses to us, I was having second thoughts if it was actually possible.

Since we’ve done a ton and a half of canopy tours in other areas, we wanted to test out their Treetop Obstacle Course and also the Climbing Adventures.

We are a family of avid climbers (minus me). My husband has been taking our boys to climbing gyms and rocks/boulders since they were teeny boppers, so anything to do with climbing is where it’s at for my men.

family of adventurers - Wilderness tours - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

The problem with most places isn’t so much if the kids are experienced or not, it’s if they have the equipment for them. And are the courses made for smaller legs and arms to reach?

kid friendly - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

The answer to all my questions and concerns were put to rest with the unbelievable equipment. I mean state-of-the-art equipment that has taken safety to a different level. Plus, there are actually two different obstacle courses, for all tastes and sizes.

1. Apple Creek Course Area – this is the first obstacle course and it was from ages four and up. And after doing it with my son and whole family, it was more than enough for me and for all beginners and experts to get their adrenaline truly pumping.

apple creek course - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

2. 40 Obstacle Course – But for the ones that not only got the extreme gene in them and a need for more, they’ve got you covered with this course. Surprisingly enough, even though this is mainly for a course for eight years and older, they did have a couple of obstacles that kept my five year old busy while my oldest son, husband and brother did what seemed to be absolutely frightening obstacles that were over 60 feet high in the air.

advanced obstacle course - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Scroll down for photos and video.

Tree Climbing Anyone?

In the world of climbing, the masters always need to push themselves harder. My husband has been watching some of these guys for years and has mentioned to me, several times, that tree climbing is the new trend and he wouldn’t mind giving it a go.

We’re not talking about the type of trees boys like to climb, but more like 200 foot trees jetting straight to the sky with no end in sight.

tree climbing course - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

So you can imagine the excitement my family had when we found out ArborTrek offers a professional Tree Climbing Course.

Scroll down for photos and video.

Challenge Your Body, Challenge Your Mind

This is the motto of ArborTrek. The courses aren’t only made for you to push your body. It was to help you push through your limits in your mind, too. It is truly amazing how much fear and limitation we allow ourselves to have, especially with the unknown and unfamiliar.

The staff doesn’t just do this in a go get ’em way and let you do your thing. They are the most hands-on, motivating group of people we have ever met. And thanks to them, my kids were able to push themselves more than ever. Not only giving them courage to do more, but most importantly it built their confidence level, as well.

What tour or activity can help your kids build inner strength and belief in themselves. This alone is worth coming here.

confidence builder - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Ready for an Adventure – Photo Tour

This is what wobbly bridges, balance beams, rope swings, cargo nets, log swings and more look like in action.

Before getting on the actual course. We were given a safety explanation.

safety explanation - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Then taken to a practice course where we learned how to use the SmartBelay technology to ensure 100% connectivity. And get an idea of how the different elements work.

Treetop Obstacle Course – Apple Creek Course

apple creek course 1 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

The Log Obstacle

apple creek course 2 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Hanging Obstacle

apple creek course 3 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

High Five’s on the Zip Line Obstacle

apple creek course 4 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Advanced Obstacle Course

advanced obstacle course 1 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

4o Foot Drop

advanced obstacle course 2 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Hanging Planks

advanced obstacle course 3 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Tree Climbing Obstacle Course

5 Year Old Climbing a Tree

tree climbing obstacle course 1 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

11 Year Old Climbing a Tree

tree climbing obstacle course 2 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Two Man Obstacle (Scott, our guide, working with my son)

tree climbing obstacle course 4 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Done – No More Obstacles – Please

tree climbing obstacle course 5 - Arbor Trek Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Video Fun

Information for Visiting ArborTrek in Vermont

Make a reservation – this isn’t even a recommendation but a must. We got really lucky that they had availability the day we were there. And even that was questionable because they work with so many camps and resorts in the area. And I was making a reservation almost one month ahead of time. And gratefully the camp that was scheduled to be there the day we wanted finished early and we were able to be the last customers of the day.

They really are this popular – but it is so worth it.

This was the absolute best tour we did during our entire Vermont visit and probably one of the best tours we’ve ever done from all of our travels.

You can either call them

(802) 644-9300

Or book directly online 

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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