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Popular Banner Elk Alpine Coaster Adds Adventure Climbing Course

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Folks can climb, swing and dangle in the treetops at Banner Elk’s newest attraction: Wilderness Run Adventure Course.

Located beside Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, the adventure course opened in May. It allows guests to double their fun with an adventure course climb in addition to a coaster ride. Made up of ropes, logs and planks secured to and suspended from wooden tripods, the course embraces its mountain setting and fits into the natural surroundings.

“We want whatever we do to blend into the hillside, especially during the summertime,” says Eric Bechard, who co-owns the course and coaster with his wife, Tara. “We chose the name, Wilderness Run, because we’re in the wilderness, so we want to preserve our namesake.”

When visitors arrive, they receive a harness and helmet. The adventure starts with 10-15 minutes of ground school instruction on technique and safety. The course includes 28 obstacles with three levels of difficulty: easy, intermediate and hard. Obstacles include such activities as scrambling over cargo nets, scaling rock-climbing structures, and traversing swinging bridges and logs. Participants may advance to more difficult obstacles as they navigate the course, or they can stay on one level.

At the course’s highest point, approximately 40 feet above the ground, guests enjoy views from the crow’s nest and can hop in a swing to get the feeling of floating in midair.

“If someone doesn’t have the courage or strength to do all of the levels this time, we encourage them to come back and try more on a return visit,” Bechard says.

A children’s course, recommended for ages 2 to 5, includes netted tubes, bridges and platforms.

Wilderness Run Adventure Course is open seven days a week seasonally from April through October.

Adventure course tickets are $42 and children’s course tickets are $10. The adventure course takes an hour and a half and guests must register online for a check-in time. Height and weight restrictions apply. If visitors opt to book an adventure course visit in conjunction with alpine coaster rides, the adventure course registration should be arranged first.

To learn more and plan your visit, go to www.WildernessRunAdventureCourse.com or call 828-898-7866.

Courtesy of Banner Elk Tourism.