“The views are amazing, and the curves get your heart pounding.”

By Cailey Rizzo
October 16, 2020
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The longest mountain coaster in North America recently opened in New York’s Lake Placid and it just so happens to be the bobsledding track used in previous Winter Olympic games.

The Cliffside Mountain Coaster at Mt. Van Hoevenberg is the longest mountain coaster in North America, according to the attraction. It runs for 1.4 miles.

“The coaster follows the alignment of the 1932 & 1980 Olympic Bobsled track as it descends the mountain,” Olympic Regional Development Authority President & CEO, Mike Pratt said in a statement. “The views are amazing, and the curves get your heart pounding.”

The experience is set up so visitors drive their own car along the track. They control the speed of the ride as they slide through the track, hearing commentary about the 1980 Winter Olympics and the sport of bobsledding.

"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," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The coaster’s opening is the latest development in making the Lake Placid Olympic Sites a year-round destination. Recently, the park has also opened a zipline, ADA-compliant gondola, indoor bobsled and skeleton start track, cross-country biking experience, and Olympic Center tours. New York State is spending more than $240 million on building up the Olympic area for tourists and events.

The mountain coaster will be open to the public only on weekends, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., to comply with new COVID-19 regulations.  Tickets cost $55 for one driver and $65 for one driver and one passenger, aged three through 12.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and face masks are required while on the ride.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at caileyrizzo.com.