Reaching New Heights

The USF High Ropes Course is a 55-foot high interactive course that helps groups build teamwork skills in a fun way.



By Jenna Withrow

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2011) – Just beyond the drone of traffic on Fletcher Avenue towers a structure as tall as the trees that shield it — the USF High Ropes Course.


Standing 55-feet tall, the High Ropes Course features three levels of climbing challenges. As a “discovery course,” participants have the liberty to explore all portions of the course at their own leisure. The interactive course features multiple challenges, including a zip line. As participants advance to higher levels on the course, the challenges become more difficult.


When groups arrive, they are first given their equipment – a harness, helmet and string line that connects them to the course. Participants then go through “ground school,” during which ACCT certified student facilitators run the group through practice drills on the ground. Then, it’s time to climb.


The High Ropes Course offers groups the chance to encourage and support one another as individual members accomplish challenges, says Ropes Course Coordinator Cathy Stedman. With a “Challenge by Choice” policy, each participant has the freedom to determine how high or far they want to climb, she says.


“It’s up to you how much of a challenge you give yourself. For some people, it’s enough to put on the harness. For others, they want to do the entire thing backwards and blindfolded,” Stedman said.


Thrill seekers can find the course at the USF Riverfront Park, which is run by the USF Outdoor Recreation department. The course is open seven days a week and is available for morning and afternoon sessions.


Participants should wear comfortable clothing, sun screen and close-toed shoes. Facilitators also recommend bringing a water bottle and snack.


High Ropes Course sessions are only available when coupled with a Low Ropes Course session. For USF groups, a three hour Low Ropes Course session costs $7.50 per person. For a six hour Low and High Ropes Course session, USF groups pay $15 per person.


The courses are also open to non-USF groups and our often used by corporate and community groups. A three hour Low Ropes session costs $15 per person and a six hour session costs $30 per person.


A maximum of 40 people can be on the High Ropes Course at one time. Groups must pay for at least 10 participants, but can bring less. For information on signing up for a session, contact Cathy Stedman at 813-974-9395.