With a 7,000-foot-long track winding through the Adirondacks and running parallel to a former Olympic bobsled course, the country’s longest mountain coaster is now open in New York.
The Cliffside Mountain Coaster, which is open on weekends year-round, doesn’t just deliver thrills and beautiful scenery as it careens down Mt. Van Hovenberg. It also comes with a dose of Olympic history. Audio inside the mountain coaster carts relays the history of the Lake Placid Olympic Site, and it’s narrated by sportscaster John Morgan, whose voice you might recognize from the 1993 Disney film “Cool Runnings.”
Can you imagine getting a view of this fall foliage via a coaster?
The new mountain coaster is a part of a larger revitalization project at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg complex, a site that preserves Lake Placid’s Olympic legacy and a place where visitors can come to cross-country ski, snowshoe and hike. Or, intrepid types can push their adrenal glands into overdrive by zooming down the half-mile bobsled course at up to 70 miles per hour with an Olympian captaining the ride.
Lake Placid has twice been host to the Winter Olympic Games, once in 1932, and then again in 1980. The new coaster follows the alignment of the Olympic Bobsled that was used during those winter games.
“The views are amazing, and the curves get your heart pounding. Everyone will feel like they deserve a medal,” Mike Pratt, Olympic Regional Development Authority President and CEO, said in a news release.
Mountain coasters, which are usually equipped with handbrakes so you can control your speed, are increasingly becoming an amenity at ski resorts and a way to enjoy the resorts in the off-season or after you click out of your ski boots for the day. Several have been built in Colorado, including one in Steamboat that previously held the record for the longest track at 6,000 feet.
Would you give a mountain coaster a try?