Santa will arrive at Natural Bridge Caverns a little early this year. His sled – well, actually two semi-trucks - will deliver a brand-new six-story surface attraction – a gift we’re so excited to be able to bring to our guests. The new “Twisted Trails Sky Adventure Course” will be a cross between the former Canopy Explorer and Canopy Zip Lines attractions. The new aerial attraction will be installed over 31 days by “elves” from Ropes Courses Incorporated (RCI), a Michigan based developer that creates attractions for theme parks, resorts and cruise ships.
Mid-October marks the end of an era as we close the Canopy Explorer, Zip Lines and Sky Tykes courses. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging! We’ve got some really big plans, almost six stories of them, that will open in January 2020.
Twisted Trails will take outdoor entertainment to another level. Literally. The six stories high attraction features four levels and will offer 50 elements to challenge both children and adults with activities like stepping stones, a weave walk, and a rolling log. Seven curved Sky Rails™ ranging from 82 feet long to 125 feet long were used to fabricate the attraction. This experience is unlike traditional zip lining, which only travels along a straight line. Twisted Trails includes 685 feet of curved rails, including an astonishing 180° arc, providing the guest with a soaring roller coaster type experience at an estimated 8-12 miles per hour.
Another exciting addition is the four Clip N’ Climb® elements that will round out the new attraction. The Astroball is made up of several stacked globe-shaped spheres, creating a visually striking challenge designed to accommodate three climbers at a time. Participants must use arm strength and some fancy footwork to conquer the obstacle!
Designed with two climbers in mind, the Jungle Gym consists of two separate routes up to a larger cargo net in which participants battle it out to reach the top! Once climbers complete the mini challenge at the bottom of the wall, they must then defeat the daunting net. This wall is a tough physical challenge that demands climbers have stamina and strong arms. Constructed to resemble the method in which a “caver” must use to enter or exit a steep vertical section, this physically demanding challenge puts climbers to the test!
Twister is visually commanding and versatile enough to accommodate two climbers! On one side of the challenge, there are jug holds for participants to grip while the other side contains underclings for added support on the way to the top. Climbers must figure out their chosen method to conquer this challenge as this wall involves several ways to become a Twister champion.
For the true competitor, the Face-to-Face challenge is comprised of a sheet of clear commercial acrylic to pit two climbers against one another! To be successful with this challenge, participants must cleverly position their bodies to maintain balance and stay on the right track. Climbers will love the added challenge of attempting to mirror their partner’s moves!
The new Twisted Trails Tykes is a smaller version of the Twisted Trail course allowing pint-sized adventure seekers, four-feet-tall-and-under to experience the adventure of the larger course. Twisted Trails Tykes will include a Sky Rail dedicated just for them. The platforms are less than three feet from the ground and parents must be present to travel alongside the entire time, guiding their children through the elements.
Cavers know safety always comes first. Twisted Trails is no different. This system has been carefully service-proven with millions of cycles, resulting in an exceptional safety record.
The new attraction is slated to open January 2020.