Maddie and I visited Emily during “Family and Friends Weekend” at Wells College. While Emily worked her shift in the dining hall on Saturday, I took Maddie down to Ithaca. Before heading to the Moosewood for a delicious lunch, we scooted around the bottom of Cayuga Lake and up Route 89 to the Cayuga Nature Center for a quick visit, because Maddie had never seen Treetops.
Treetops is a six story tree house in the woods. It was designed by high school students who then convinced the community to help them make their design a reality. It is awesome to watch people discover it for the first time. You hear them making conversation about whether or not they are on the right trail to find the treehouse… then suddenly… They are stopped in their tracks by the sheer magnitude of it. After a short silence, you hear things like, “Oh my god! This is AWESOME!” If they are children (and sometimes even if they are grownups), you will also hear squeals of laughter and screams of delight as they begin to explore.
The outside of the 50-foot tower is covered with sticks giving the structure a Peter-Pan-in-Neverland feel. But the inside is solid, safe construction. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies and plenty of different ways to ascend and descend – from normal stairs to ladders and firemen’s poles.
In a couple of places, there are blue “nets” that you can walk across, if you dare! The nature center has other fun nature-centerish kinds of things. There’s a butterfly house, which I have never managed to visit during butterfly season, a collection of live animals, and a kids’ play and learn room.
All in all, it is a fun place to visit and if you are in the Ithaca NY area, you should make it a point to check it out.