ROXBURY, NJ – Aerial walkways, platforms, cables and other components of a new “tree-top adventure” park in Ledgewood are in place, and construction of a “welcome center” built from cargo containers is nearing completion.
The “FLG X Adventure Course” is being built by the owners of several similar courses, the main being Flagstaff Extreme in Arizona. They did not respond to requests for interviews and information about the Roxbury project’s progress.
Township officials said they do not know when the Ledgewood attraction will open for business.
The project is being built on about 45 acres of wooded land above the western side of Mt. Arlington-Ledgewood Road. It was first approved by the township in 2012 but was back-burnered by the original applicants, who eventually sold the land to the new owners.
The Roxbury Zoning Board last year endorsed the new owners’ alterations to the original proposal. Among the new plans was the idea of making the “Welcome Center” out of metal cargo containers. Initially, the building was to have a log cabin design.
Screaming in the Trees
While the project has generated a good level of excitement in Roxbury, not everybody is thrilled. Among the less-enamored are some residents of Mt. Arlington-Ledgewood Road, including Joseph Pinto.
“We live two doors down from the driveway,” Pinto said. “This is going to cause some devaluation of our properties. Who wants an amusement park in their backyard?”
Pinto said he fears noise from people yelling and screaming as they zip through the air between trees, suspended by cables. He’s also concerned about lighting, traffic, runoff and the loss of wildlife on the ridge.
“I used to be able to sit on my deck and watch the deer, wild turkey and even a bear now and then,” Pinto said. “I haven’t seen them in months.”
Pinto, who has lived on the road since 1980, said he and his neighbors attended township meetings in 2012 to oppose the project.
“It really didn’t seem to matter what we said,” he recalled. “Their minds were made up. They were going to put this in there. We were guaranteed we would not see it or hear it from our backyards. They said nothing … would be built anywhere near our backyards.”
Despite those promises, Pinto can see one of the “launch platforms” from his house, he said. “It’s only about a half a football field away,” he estimated.
No Left Turns
Traffic to the business is being directed to enter from the Howard Boulevard side. Visitors who try to get there by driving up Mt. Arlington-Ledgewood Road from Route 46 will encounter No Left Turn signs at the park’s entrance, meaning they will have to go past the entrance and do K-turns or go out onto Howard Boulevard and somehow work their way back.
Pinto said he fears that people en route to the park from Howard Boulevard will inadvertently pass the entrance, turn around in driveways and then encounter the No Left Turn sign.
“I have nothing against people trying make money or do something right,” he said. “I just wish they would have listened to us a little.”