The Thirty Foot Surprise

Aerial View of Wild Walk

Getting off the ground is pretty elevating

When the High Line opened in New York in 2009, it surprised people. Perhaps they felt that from windows and bridges and on movie screens, every angle of the city had been explored. It turned out that a simple change of perspective opened up a brand new way to see New York.

In his review in The New York Times, then architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff described the effect this way. “… as mesmerizing as the design is, it is the height of the High Line that makes it so magical, and that has such a profound effect on how you view the city. Lifted just three stories above the ground, you are suddenly able to perceive, with remarkable clarity, aspects of the city’s character you would never glean from an office….The High Line is the only place in New York where you can have this experience — one that is as singular in its way as standing on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.”

The Adirondacks are traversed with trails, but even the one that ascends to the state’s highest point on the peak of Mt Marcy, a summit five times higher than the deck of the Empire State Building, leaves the walker always at ground level.

Wild Walk is a chance to walk among the trees at a height that matches the High Line. “It’s surprising when you get up there to suddenly see things in a way you’ve never seen before,” said Derek Prior, who led the graphics team for the project. “It’s not that you might have never climbed a tree, or looked out a window at a scene, it’s simply that walking along the treetops in a place you have never been, and because of that, you just see everything in a different light, and can start to imagine how our regular point of view, that seemed pretty big, is really just fractional.”