America’s Longest Mountain Coaster Opens in Lake Placid, NY

by Will Huck
America's longest mountain coaster

Thrill-seekers and Olympic aficionados rejoice: Lake Placid’s newest attraction, the Cliffside Coaster at the 1980 Olympic Sports Complex, has introduced a one-of-a-kind experience for tourists. Visitors revel in the scenic beauty of Upstate New York as they ascend Mount Van Hoevenberg. Once at the peak, passengers are in complete control with the ability to manually adjust their speed. As they glide along the 1932 and 1980 Olympic bobsled track, the carts can reach 25 mph. Take it slow and embrace the fall foliage or race family and friends down America’s longest mountain coaster. Which spans a whopping 7,000 feet.

An Immersive Experience

Equipped with two-person carts designed to mimic the look and feel of an actual bobsled, the Cliffside Coaster is a fully immersive experience. As passengers zig-zag along the mountainside, they absorb an audio tour that guides them through the history of the 1980 Olympic Sports Complex and Sliding Center. When it’s time for the plunge down Mount Van Hoevenberg, there’s also authentic commentary—and even a timing system—to accompany the ultimate bobsled excursion. Better yet, John Morgan, an Olympic commentator who you might recall from the hysterical bobsled film, “Cool Runnings,” narrates the experience.

America's longest mountain coaster

Photo courtesy of ORDA

Revitalizing the Region

The Cliffside Coaster is the newest addition in the revitalization of the Lake Placid Olympic Center. In fact, Governor Cuomo has dedicated nearly $240 million to New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). These funds will help upgrade facilities and create year-round attractions to increase tourism and revenue in the Adirondacks. The Lake Placid Olympic Center has also installed the enthralling Sky Flyer Zipline at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. In a statement announcing the opening of the Cliffside Coaster, Cuomo praised the attraction as an exciting addition to the revitalization process.

“The Cliffside Coaster is one of our latest and most thrilling additions to the Olympic Regional Development Authority venues, and part of our ongoing effort to modernize the entire Mt. Van Hoevenberg complex. This revitalization is transforming the complex into a year-round provider of excitement and entertainment for both athletes and families, which will attract more summer visitors and provide a critical boost to local businesses as we work to build back better.”

However, Governor Cuomo isn’t the only one excited to see America’s longest mountain coaster open in Lake Placid. President and CEO of ORDA, Mike Pratt, applauded the Cliffside Coaster, as well.

“The Cliffside Coaster is a one-of-a-kind attraction at the newly transformed Mt. Van Hoevenberg. We are incredibly excited to give our guests this exhilarating experience. The coaster follows the alignment of the 1932 & 1980 Olympic Bobsled track as it descends the mountain. The views are amazing, and the curves get your heart pounding. Everyone will feel like they deserve a medal.”

Your Next Adventure

The Cliffside coaster is now open year-round, however, it’s limited to weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $55 for children and adults over the age of 12, and $65 for anyone younger than 12. In light of the virus and burgeoning interest in the attraction, guests are required to purchase tickets in advance.

Desperately in need of a fall getaway? Hit the road and head on up to Lake Placid. Experience fall in the Adirondacks and take a ride America’s longest mountain coaster. As they say in “Cool Runnings”—“Feel the rhythm. Feel the rhyme. Get on up, it’s bobsled time!”

America's longest mountain coaster

Photo courtesy of ORDA

Main image courtesy of ORDA

About the Author/s

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A product of North Jersey, Will is an aspiring writer who enjoys music, comedy and fast food.

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