The neighbors don’t appreciate it when you treat their backyard clothesline like a ropes course.

And most elementary schools frown on adults showing up during recess to use the playground jungle gym to hone their climbing skills.

So locals itching for the wind-in-your-face feel of a zip line or can’t-touch-the-ground maneuvering of a ropes course have had to be creative. Options have been limited.

Luckily, an actual ropes course has arrived in Maine. Monkey C, Monkey Do stands like a rope-and-wood beacon on Route 1 in Wiscasset, luring climbers from ages 4 to 84.

The three-story main platform looks like a well-fed backyard fort that just kept growing and growing. From it, wires stretch like slender arms to the smaller secondary platforms that surround it.

And everywhere, there are ropes dangling just within reach or tied together to form a climbable web 20 feet off the ground.

At each end of the platform, zip lines send park-goers on a long and speedy descent, bringing their feet gently back to earth on a pile of wood chips.

Of the two zip lines, one is discernibly shorter and perfect for the young or nervous first-time zip-liner. The other end boasts a side-by-side pair of lines that sail out toward the tree line and over the heads of grounded onlookers.

The ropes course has three levels of difficulty, though all climbers need to prove their stuff before moving on to the more advanced obstacles.

For a bigger challenge, try the double tightrope element with no hands.

Maybe you’ve fallen off a few jungle gyms in your time — tumbled from the monkey bars attempting the tricky, hooked-leg upside-down dangle — and tend to panic when your feet are removed from the ground.

Consider Monkey C, Monkey Do your climbing therapy. Fitted harnesses and helmets are worn at all times, and safety ropes and snap hooks are always in use. There’s also trained staff at every turn keeping an eye out and offering encouraging “woo-hoos” along the way.

In essence, you’re not going anywhere. But your climbing confidence will shoot toward the heavens.

Unlike that afternoon you spent traversing the latticework on your ex-boyfriend’s house, climbing at Monkey C, Monkey Do is much safer and less likely to get you arrested on trespassing charges.


Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 822-4056 or at:

[email protected]