Alpine coaster will offer scenic views atop Mississippi River bluffs

Illinois

GRAFTON, Ill. — An alpine coaster will soon overlook the bluffs of the Mississippi River in Grafton, Illinois. The amusement ride is coming to Aerie’s Resort next year.

“It is a two-person sled, and we’ll have 38 sleds,” says J.D. Lorton, director of operations at Aerie’s Resort. “You will start from the top and it’s about a 31-hundred length track that will take you down and a 900-foot track to take you back up to the top.”

The resort partnered with Wiegand Sports to build and design the coaster, which will have about 4,000 feet of track. Wiegand Sports is the North American division of a German company that has installed over 270 of the coasters worldwide.

The coaster will be built atop one of the best views in the Midwest, up the Great River Road and along the bluffs in Grafton.

“It will come down along an old access road that comes along the sky tour, and they’ll dive into the woods and be along the hillside,” said Lorton.

Joining the resort’s aerial lift and zipline attractions, the alpine coaster will offer riders a stainless-steel rail system at speeds of 25 miles per hour through limestone and tree-lined trails.

“We were the first zipline in the state of Illinois and that’s been great,” said Lorton. “We were the first gondola and open-air lift and now we’re going to be the first alpine coaster, and we couldn’t be more happy to bring the Aerie’s alpine coaster to fruition.”

That alpine coaster is set to open in September of 2022.

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