Alpine coaster coming to NC mountains

Alpine coaster coming to NC mountains

BANNER ELK, N.C. — A new attraction is expected to open in North Carolina’s High Country next month.

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, the first Alpine coaster to be built in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will offer scenic views of neighboring Sugar Mountain Ski Resort as it races down a 2,100-foot track.

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Ashley Brown, a marketing representative for the coaster, told Durham’s WTVD there are three near-360 degree turns, but no significant drops.

The ride begins 770 feet up the mountain and is powered by gravity. It can cruise up to 27 miles per hour, but riders will be able to control the speed with a brake on the side of the car.

“You can go slow and take it all in or you can go fast for a thrill,” Brown said.

The coaster is owned and operated by Brown’s parents, Army veteran Eric Bechard and his wife, Tara.

Brown said her family enjoyed riding Alpine coasters when they were stationed in Germany and now that her parents are retired, they wanted to bring an attraction to the area that families could do in their down time when visiting the mountains.

Know before you go

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is located in Banner Elk at 3229 Tynecastle Highway, which is about a two and a half hour drive from Charlotte.

The coaster’s cars are built for two riders, but you can go solo if you are at least 56 inches tall. If you’re riding double, the passenger needs to be at least 38 inches tall.

A website with more information is in the works. In the meantime, you can follow Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster on Facebook here for updates.