Recreational Services
Kansas State University
101 Peters Rec Complex
Manhattan, KS 66506



K-State Challenge Course

High ropes challengeOur Purpose
The K-State Challenge Course enhances individual development and team building through experiential learning in a natural environment. Perfect for groups that are looking to build and grow relationships with one another, we are committed to providing safe, inclusive challenges for every participant. Our trained facilitators encourage individual and group reflection following each custom-designed activity.

Women in Economics take on the K-State Challenge Course! Read all about it! (PDF)

What is a challenge course?
A challenge course is an experiential adventure program which offers groups and individuals the opportunity to engage in a series of personal development and team building activities. These activities consist of icebreakers, group initiatives, and low and/or high elements that involve mental, physical and emotional challenges, all while in a noncompetitive and supportive atmosphere. Low and high elements consist of ropes, cables, logs, poles and belaying systems. Trained facilitators take groups through the course and create situations that challenge your abilities as an individual and a team member.

Check out this video filmed by the KSU WildcatWatch Channel for some more info.

The following video was filmed by KSU Media Relations. It predominantly features parts of the high course. Our low course has over a dozen elements that take place on or near the ground and are catered to people of all physical abilities and comfort levels.

Objectives of Participation

  • Group bonding
  • Team building
  • Goal setting
  • Group problem solving
  • Trust development
  • Communication
  • Personal growth
  • Leadership development
  • Collaboration and cooperation
  • Conflict management
  • Self awareness
  • Healthy risk taking
  • A chance to "play"
  • And of course, FUN!

Our Facility
The course has three components: a grassy field for group initiatives, low elements, and high elements.

During the winter months
Groups can book indoor 2-hour team building sessions throughout the winter when the weather doesn't allow for comfortable use of our course. These programs are held inside the Rec Complex and involve the use of props, low element initiatives, and games. See the Scheduling and Pricing section for more information.

Field area
Your challenge course experience will begin with initiatives on our field. Initiatives are designed to warm up your group and to prepare you for the experience.

Low elements
Low elements involve ropes, cables, platforms, logs, and other pieces of equipment employed on the ground or just off the ground. The activities can be geared toward a group's particular goals and reinforce specific learning aspects. These elements help participants to be creative in solving problems and help participants explore how to later apply the same skills to everyday situations. The primary safety mechanism used in low elements is group spotting. The low elements include:

  • Whale watch
  • Blind maze
  • TP shuffle
  • Wild woosey/triangle traverse/bermuda triangle
  • Verticial/horizontal spider web
  • Log jam
  • Mountain games
  • Zig zag
  • Team trail
  • Boson swings
  • 8ft beam

High elements
High elements involve a system of ropes, cables, platforms, logs, and pulleys 10 to 40 feet off the ground on poles and cables. Personal assumptions and limitations are tested through perceived risk and overcoming limiting thoughts. Group encouragement empowers individuals to be able to do things they didn't think possible. Safety mechanisms for these elements include the use of belay ropes (safety-rope attachment systems), harnesses, and helmets. The high elements include:

  • Flying squirrel
  • Heebie jeebie
  • Giant swing
  • Levitation platform
  • Multivine
  • Portable power perch
  • Power pole