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New Alpine Coaster Open in Banner Elk

August 27 - October 9

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster has opened in the North Carolina mountains, offering thrill rides for all ages on a Banner Elk mountainside.

Each run on NC’s first alpine coaster includes three circular loops, a series of waves and lots of twists. Riders use hand brakes to control speeds, which can reach 27 miles per hour.

“You’re looping, dipping or turning. There is no point where you are just riding,” says Eric Bechard, who co-owns the coaster with his wife, Tara. “It’s very fast and a whole lot of fun.”

Wilderness Run is modeled after coasters in Europe and built by Germany’s top alpine coaster company, Wiegand Sports. Riders navigate the track in individual carts that accommodate up to two people.

The 3,160-foot run begins with a cable-pulled ascent of 770 feet. At that point, the alpine coaster differs from a roller coaster as the remainder of the ride is gravity-fed, with riders in control of two braking handles.

The six-acre attraction also includes a clubhouse, observation deck and gift shop.

“We’re right across from Sugar Mountain, just a few miles from Beech Mountain and Grandfather Mountain, and we have all the restaurants and things to do in Banner Elk,” Tara says. “It’s the perfect location.”

Wilderness Run is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, year-round. Advance reservations are required Friday, Saturday and Sunday until July 12. Reservations are not required Monday through Thursday.

Adult tickets, for ages 14 and up, are $16 for a single ride or $35 for three rides. Youth tickets, for ages 7 to 13, are $13 for one ride or $29 for three rides. Child tickets, for ages 3-6, are $5 for one ride or $12 for three.

For info, visit: or call 828-898-7866.


August 27
October 9
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Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster
3265 Tynecastle Highway
Banner Elk, NC 28604
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