Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster the first of its kind in NC

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Thursday, January 9, 2020
Taking a ride on the soon-to-open Alpine Coaster at Sugar Mountain
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The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is the first coaster of its kind in North Carolina.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WTVD) -- Amid the beautiful scenery of the North Carolina mountains, a more peaceful life beckons.

But for those seeking a thrill, a soon-to-open attraction at Sugar Mountain could provide an adrenaline rush.

The Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is the first of its kind in North Carolina. It's a ride that navigates the rugged hills and scenic views, giving the rider an experience they can't get at most theme parks.

Photos posted on the park's Facebook page, show a winding, curving line around a densely wooded and mountainous terrain. Ashley Brown says there are three 'near-360 degree' turns, but no significant drops. The ride will give great views of the nearby Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.

The ride starts 770 feet up the mountain and races down a 2,100-foot track. The coaster can go up to 27 miles per hour, but the rider can control the speed with a brake on the side of the car. The ride is powered by gravity and is an exciting way to come 'round the mountain.

"You can go slow and take it all in or you can go fast for a thrill," said Brown, who does marketing and customer service for the ride.

The coaster is owned and operated by Army veteran Eric Bechard and his wife Tara. Ashley is their daughter.

"My parents retired in the area and wanted to bring an attraction for individuals already up in the area for families to do in their downtime," Ashley said. "We rode these when we were stationed in Germany and fell in love with them."

Adult tickets will be $15 per rider. Riders will be able to ride by themselves or with another person.

The park started construction last March and hopes to open sometime in February. Park officials hope to finish building a house in front of the coaster with a box office, restrooms and eventually a café.

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