Next time you’re driving down the road, if you happen to notice a bunch of adults hanging out in trees, don’t be alarmed — it’s just the newest trend in adventure sports. Yep, you heard right. It appears that a growing number of people are harking back to the days of their childhood by gleefully climbing high into the treetops. Though no official statistics are available, Tree Climbers International has experienced a major surge in demand for recreational tree-climbing excursions since tours were first offered in 1983, and the number of operators has grown, too, with tree-climbing tours now being offered around the world.

  • Image about pacific-tree-climbing-institute-willamette-national-forest-oregon-eugene-americanway
Accessible to beginners and experienced climbers alike, tree-climbing tours into the sky-high canopies are about much more than racing to the highest limb. For adrenaline junkies, the most alluring part of the challenge lies in getting to the top (in Oregon, the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute leads climbs in the Willamette National Forest, an old-growth forest where Douglas firs soar more than 250 feet); on the green side, environmentalists embrace the concept as a chance to commune with Mother Nature. Our favorite part? On overnight expeditions, climbers sleep in hammocks called treeboats that swing from the tallest limbs. Paint yourself blue and you could almost pretend you were an avatar. Minus the tail, of course.

  • Image about pacific-tree-climbing-institute-willamette-national-forest-oregon-eugene-americanway

EXPEDITIONS TREE CLIMBERS INTERNATIONAL
From $20
Offers three-hour climbs for beginners in Blackburn Park in Atlanta
404-377-3150
www.treeclimbing.com

PACIFIC TREE CLIMBING INSTITUTE
$200 to $600
Coordinates morning and overnight climbs in Willamette National Forest outside of Eugene, Ore. Prices include organic meals and snacks.
866-653-8733
www.pacifictreeclimbing.com

BLUE RIDGE TREE CLIMBING
$75 to $95
Learn the basics of tree climbing during a half-day excursion near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.
276-398-2639
www.blueridgetreeclimbing.com



WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Outfitters provide the most important gear — ropes, harnesses and helmets — but these extras can help make the climb more comfortable.

CamelBak Alpine Explorer
$100
800-767-8725
www.camelbak.com

Five Ten Camp Four Hiking Shoes
$115
909-798-4222
www.fiveten.com

Prana Sabin Racer Top
$46
800-426-4840
www.rei.com