As part of my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project with LookWest and the Hawk’s Well Theatre I paid a visit to Zipit Forest Adventures in Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Zipit is a forest adventure company specialising in adventurous trail courses in the treetops.
I must admit I was nervous. I’m not great with heights but part of this project is me challenging myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do and stepping out of my comfort zone. When you arrive at Zipit you get harnessed up and go as a group with an instructor to the initiation course. Hazel was our instructor and she explained everything we had to do for each different part of the course. You are always clipped on to a circuit at all times, so you are completely safe. We all had a turn of the initiation course (I have a head like a sieve so Hazel had to remind me of what I was meant to be doing). All the others in my group headed for the higher courses but I stuck to the green course (which is the easiest).
There are no photos of me – which is probably just as well! It brought back a lot of memories of my time in the Venture Scouts where I would have been climbing trees, potholing, rock climbing and abseiling. Somewhere along the way I got scared of heights…probably when I almost fell when I was caving. I did think after coasteering that my fear of heights were gone, but they aren’t.
I did manage to complete the green course, which for me is a major achievement. It wasn’t very high off the ground but it was still quite scary walking along a tightrope. I actually loved the zip wire part of it though and would love to try more of that. I’m just not great walking on moving things. I was with a group of boy scouts, they flew through the circuit and it was so funny being encouraged by an 8-year-old!
It was great to see so many families and people of all ages enjoying the various courses. The place was filled with laughter and of course Tarzan sounds! One of the courses even involves you cycling across a wooden bridge!
You can try as many of the courses as you like when you are there (depending on your age and height), so you could spend the whole day there. Lough Key is a great place too with lots of other activities going on and it’s perfect for a family day out or even for camping.
Sincere thanks to Zipit Forest Adventures for letting me come along and try out this great adventure. I had a great time! There are also courses located in Cork and Dublin – you can find out all about them here.