I have no problem admitting that I do not like roller coasters. I boarded the Wabash Cannonball at the now-defunct Opryland when I was a child, and I guessed it really traumatized me. It's all that dropping with nothing beneath me and that keeps me from getting on them now.


But, over the years, I came to really appreciate mountain coasters. They can also be called alpine coasters or alpine slides. I call them roller coaster 'training wheels.' You don't get the big drops and the loops that you get with typical coasters, but you do descend very quickly. Plus, you have actual GROUND just below you. For me, that makes all the difference in the world.


As you can imagine, the Smoky Mountains offer all kinds of opportunities to slide down the mountainside in an alpine coaster. Would they be enough for real roller coaster "pros"? Probably not, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy them.

For fear of dropping my phone, I didn't take it with me when I rode, but I did at the Kentucky Action Park in Cave City. I just didn't get a chance to use it; I was uncomfortable trying to get a video while sliding down the hill.

Speaking of the Kentucky Action Park, I'm not sure if the alpine slide and the skylift that goes to the top of it are still in operation. When I was there a couple of years ago, the owner expressed some concerns about it because COVID had shut it down and he wasn't sure the staff would return if and when they were able to reopen.

I'm happy to say that SOME of the Kentucky Action Park--which has been around since 1970; we visited when I was a kid--is up and running and very successful. When you go to its website, you're redirected to the Jesse James Riding Stables & Outlaw Cave. But there's no mention of the alpine slide.


That doesn't mean you can't get your fill of them elsewhere. I'd love to try this one in Branson.

I also like the looks of this one in Helen, Georgia.

Oh, who am I kidding? I like the looks of all of them. And honestly, THIS is the coaster for me. I guess hugging the ground IS what makes all the difference in the world.

Well, I guess I need to plan a vacation that's nothing but alpine coasters. I'm already getting excited.

Also, I need a Go-Pro.

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