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I’m Chris Bainbridge, inviting you to take a ride with me. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes. Ingles has sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature, music, and more. All affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
Today, we’re in Banner Elk, North Carolina – trying something new, different, and awesome. If you’re a fan or roller coasters – or honestly, just a fan of fun – then this is the place for you. Welcome to Wilderness Run.
Veteran family owned and operated, Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, is a ride that races down the mountain at speeds up to 27 MPH – complete with three 360-degree loops. They are open every day year-round, including ski season at nearby Sugar and Beech Mountains.
So, you might say to yourself, “what a cool idea – where did something like this get started?” I’m glad you asked.
I learned that alpine coasters got their start in Europe in the 1970’s. A lot of them show up at ski resorts to take advantage of their mountain infrastructure and to give them a source of income in the summer months. Wilderness Run is the first in the Blue Ridge – and it’s so much fun.
You can either ride solo or pair up a couple of kids. Once you’re in, you’re in charge of the braking system – and this thing can get up to 27 miles per hour.
The 3,160-foot run begins with a cable-pulled ascent of 770 feet. At that point, the alpine coaster is a little different from your traditional roller coaster – because on this ride, it’s all gravity. You’ve got twists and turns and 360’s galore.
While the coaster itself is definitely the main attraction, the facilities here are beautiful. You can check out the gift shop, and hit up the coffee shop.
You can pack an Ingles picnic and hang out on this gorgeous deck. They even have a tree-tops ropes course coming soon. On a beautiful fall day like today, just chilling in this local is a perk not to be missed.
A registered check-in time is required to be guaranteed to ride the coaster. Riders can purchase single tickets or a 3 ride Bundle. And once you’re here, I know you’re gonna have a blast.
Start your adventure at WildernessRunAlpineCoaster.com. Book your ride time and get ready for a great day in the mountains. Try something new, soak in the natural splendor, and get ready for one heck of a ride. Your weekend is waiting, on the Ingles open road.