Shale Hill Obstacle Course Outing

One of the ideas from the co-op planning session was to take the kids to a “Confidence course”.  We have one practically in our backyard, in the town of Benson, VT.  The course is a fixed-place obstacle course, owned by Rob and Jill Butler.  Rob initially built the course on his property so he could train to do the Spartan and other obstacle-type races,  but his training course has evolved into a race course of its own.

The course is laid out over his farmland, and uses different parts of farm life as obstacles, making for a fun and challenging course.  There are massive hay bales to jump or roll over, walls and ropes to climb, ropes to take you over a pond, and lots of mud to crawl through.  The answer to any kid’s “greatest day ever”.  Adults too, for that matter!

Rob has agreed that we can take a group of kids on the course, for a fee of $15 per participant.  As Trish Kingsbauer has completed the course and obstacles several times, she is available to be the coach/guide for our group, saving us the additional guide fee of $50/hour.

We have set a date of Tuesday, Sept 30, at 9 am.  The rain date will be Oct 14 at the same time.

The regular course is 10k (6 miles) but she can tailor the course to shorten it to hit the “best” obstacles that our kids would most enjoy.  All of the obstacles are cool, and give you a great feeling of accomplishment, whether overcoming a fear of heights, or learning to climb a rope, or just getting muddy!

The course is labeled as being for ages 12 and over (for the races themselves) but kids as young as 7 or 8 can do many of the obstacles and have a great time.  I don’t think we can go below that, though, unless a parent just plans to have a younger one along with an older sibling, and can watch their younger ones.

Here is a link to the website:  They don’t have directions on their website, but they list 517 Lake Road, Benson, VT 05743 as their address.  Hopefully any mapping website will show an accurate location!

Back in 2012, Rob and Jill were featured on PegTV.  The clip shows some of the obstacles to give you an idea of what to expect.

Everyone should wear clothing and shoes that can get muddy, and bring a change of clothes and a plastic bag to put wet stuff in – it’s good to get out of the wet clothes before driving home.  You don’t have to get muddy, but you may not be able to avoid it in some places!


3 thoughts on “Shale Hill Obstacle Course Outing

  1. Sorry for the delay!! Yes that is their address. For directions from Rutland area:
    take Route 4 West to exit 2 – which is Route 22A.
    Go North on 22-A for 7.3 miles.
    Turn left onto Lake Road – you may notice a Taco stand in the field on your right, or a large platform (one of the obstacles for Shale Hill) on your right at this intersection – there is no stop sign, you might also drive right past it before you notice it 🙂
    then drive up Lake Road to a barn on your left and look for us!!


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