Here’s the thing, the term “wildlife” can be seen two different ways. First, there is “wildlife” that includes the unique flora and fauna of an area, and then there is the “wild life” that might include doing all kinds of daring and thrilling things. Skydivers, for instance, live a bit on the wild side of life. So, if you are going to pay a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains you have the opportunity to try a really wild attraction: a ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.
This is often just called the Gatlinburg roller coaster, and it was the very first of its kind throughout the entire Smoky Mountains area. As you might guess, it is a mountain coaster rather than a roller coaster. Instead of all kinds of noisy and rickety rails and tracks, it is a silent running “coaster” that uses the curves, sharp drops and rolling hills as its base. In this way, it is authentically a mountain coaster.
Enjoying the Gatlinburg Roller Coaster Wildlife
As we said, though, the Gatlinburg roller coaster does allow you to take in the true wildlife of the area. Set along the woodland floor, you pass through an array of forest and treetop settings, enjoying views of the beautiful and lush landscape that brings millions to the region every year.
Because this mountain coaster uses only two-seat carts, you get to control your ride. Thus, it can be a “wild life” experience that has you rocketing down through hairpin turns and traveling from top to bottom in just under seven minutes. Alternatively, you can use the brakes to slow down and take in the amazing natural surroundings, reaching the bottom at your own pace.
The Gatlinburg roller coaster is truly fun for the entire family. Carts can be solo or double rides, and everyone taller than 38″ and over the age of three is welcome aboard. If you do opt for a solo trip, you must be more than 56″ to ensure you can control the speed of the mountain coaster cart.
The Gatlinburg roller coaster is a year-round activity, and something you can do early in the day and even long after dark. This can give you multiple experiences of the natural beauty and wildlife, and many groups make return visits just for the amazing scenery that changes radically from the top and all the way down to the base of the mountain.
Though you will hear of alternative mountain coaster experiences in the region, if you want the most authentic, original and appealing coaster, this is the one to ride. Just like the classic, European alpine rides, this one gives you the best of all possible worlds. You get a jolt of adrenaline (if you want) and you always get to savor that amazing scenery and wildlife that is an essential part of any visit to Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains.