In The Treetops
By Kerri Regan
Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort in Southern OregonStory: Kerri Regan
Looking to go out on a limb for your next family vacation? Pack up your sense of adventure, channel your inner Tarzan and get thee to the Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort.
The world’s largest concentration of treehouses is tucked into an oak grove in Takilma, a picturesque valley in Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains. The treetop treasure is about a four-hour drive from Redding, some 30 miles southwest of Grants Pass.
Builder Michael Garnier designed the technology that supports the 14 treehouses, which sleep anywhere from two to eight people. Stairs, ladders and suspension bridges lead to the rooms, platforms and skybridges of the 36-acre facility.
“When you walk into Treesort, it’s like time is stopped and you’re in your own special little world where nothing is important but the people you are with and the feel of the wind making your treehouse sway,” says Jennifer Payne, who has accompanied her husband and two children to the resort several times. “My kids thought it was like being rocked to sleep.”
At the Swiss Family Complex, a swinging bridge separates adult and child units, and youngsters can either shimmy to the ground on a fire pole or swoop down on a rope swing. For a little more luxury, the Tree Room Schoolhouse Suite includes a bathroom, kitchenette, master bedroom, sitting area and loft.
The Treeloon sleeps four and looks like an old west saloon, and is connected by a swinging bridge to the Cavaltree, a two-story treehouse that sleeps up to seven. Yurtree is an 18-foot-wide yurt on a 20-foot platform in the trees. The Peacock Perch is the most romantic of the accommodations.
The newest addition is the luxurious Majestree, which sits 47 feet up a Douglas Fir tree. It sleeps up to six and includes a full bathroom, three beds, kitchenette and a porch with a spiral staircase to a private deck.
Numerous “activitrees” await Treesort guests, from crafts and horseback riding to rappelling, ziplines and adrenaline-generating rides on the Giant Tarzan Swing. Forts and swings invite folks of all ages to choose their own adventures. Hiking and biking opportunities abound, and when the weather warms up, you’ll find plenty of company when you take a dip in the river-fed rock-lined pool.
“It’s one of the funnest places I’ve ever been to and it’s really cool learning how the treehouses were made and getting to sleep in them,” says Ben Payne, 12.
Adds sister Hannah, 16: “Treesort is like nowhere I’ve ever been before. You meet so many people and try things you’ve never experienced.”
Two of the treehouses have full bathrooms, two others have a toilet and a sink, and a centrally located bathhouse is available for the other units. Barbecues, microwaves and stovetop cookers are available in designated cooking areas, which are also equipped with some dishes and cookware.
Families looking for an educational experience might be interested in the Treehouse Institute, a “summer camp” said to be the only place in the world that offers instruction in the basic engineering, design and construction methods necessary to build treehouses. The institute also includes horseback riding, rafting, ropes courses, and arts and crafts classes. The most stalwart tree-climbers can tackle the challenge of scaling a 51-foot rope-climbing tree to discover a treetop pool made of river rocks.
Rooms must be booked over the phone, as online reservations are not yet available. Rates include breakfast, bath towels, bedding and as many tree puns as you can handle. Bring your own swimming towels, adventurous spirit and sense of humor.
“It’s an amazing and unique experience,” says Jeff Payne. “You’ve got to take your family there at least once.”
Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort Takilma, Ore. (541) 592-2208 www.treehouses.com/treehouse/treesort/home.html