Anakeesta’s new TreeVenture opens above Gatlinburg
Anakeesta’s TreeVenture is the newest way to explore the Smoky Mountains in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The treehouse adventure course is the first phase of Anakeesta’s ongoing expansion to open to the public, with its observation tower on track to open next month.
“Treehouses capture everyone’s imagination, and nestled in the trees at the top of a mountain, TreeVenture encompasses the whimsical feel you find throughout Anakeesta,” Anakeesta partner and ClimbWorks owner Nick Thompson explained. “TreeVenture offers a family-friendly adventure for all ages. Each treehouse entrance features a different level of difficulty, so you pick your path and create your own adventure.”
TreeVenture, which is included in Anakeesta’s regular general admission price, is made up of three multi-level treehouses connected by nets, ropes, hanging logs and platforms. A winding slide, hanging stairs and look-out platform add to this unique multiple level challenge course that offers free-form play and does not require a harness.
“Everywhere at Anakeesta has fantastic views, but when you travel 600-plus feet (183+ m) up to the top of the mountain on our lift, and then go 60 feet (18 m) higher in the air on the tower, you get a 360º view that’s indescribable,” co-founder and managing partner Bob Bentz, who also designed the tower, shared. “We went through a number of different design concepts, and decided upon the concept of it emulating a flower, a flower opening up to the sky. If you look at the form and shape of a flower, and you look at the tower itself, you can see a very similar opening up to the sky, opening up to the heavens, opening up to the sun – much like a flower.”
As part of this third phase of its $6.5 million expansion, Anakeesta is also adding a new stage for live music, mountaintop firepit with walk-up bar for beer walk-up windows for pizza and frozen yogurt and a water play area designed to resemble a Tennessee mountain creek.