Earlier this week, the folks at Big Cedar Lodge unveiled two new additions to its Fun Mountain attraction with Timber Ridge, a four-story ropes course, and the NASCAR-themed Thunder Alley go-cart track, designed by 2017 NASCAR champion driver Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn.
Fun Mountain, Big Cedar’s 50,000-square-foot adventure center, is already home to a deep sea-themed bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, an arcade, a golf simulator, a kid’s nature discovery center, billiards, the flip zone, an augmented climbing wall, a restaurant and many more family attractions,
“This place is totally awesome,” said William Bush of Texas, who was visiting the area with his family. “As soon as the kids saw the new ropes course from the top of the hill, I knew where they’d want to spend the rest of the day.”
Timber Ridge is a 40-foot-tall ropes course that traverses more than 60 challenging elements, including a rolling log, swaying ladder, two electronic zip lines and narrow balancing beams. While all that is featured high above the ground, a significant portion of Timber Ridge is located above a “swamp area,” which is home to a live python, as well as a couple of alligators, all of which make this experience that much more thrilling.
While some folks may be a little hesitant to attempt a ropes course while directly above alligators and a giant snake, every participant wears a safety harness that is inserted into a secure overhead tracking system to assure a safe adventure at all times.
“To be honest, the kids were a bit worried about playing over the gators and the snake,” Bush said with a laugh. “But the safety harnesses put them at ease very quickly, and they had a great time.”
Guests also have the choice to end their journey through Timber Ridge by taking a final plunge through a controlled free-fall from the top of the structure.
The new course is a compliment to the kid-sized Sky Tykes course, which is specifically designed for smaller children ages 2-7 or under 48 inches tall, which is located inside Fun Mountain.
In addition to Timber Ridge, Fun Mountain also debuted the new quarter-mile Thunder Alley go-cart track, which is located beneath the ropes course. These NASCAR-inspired go-carts rumble through the track, which features hairpin turns and speed straightaways.
The carts themselves feature several popular NASCAR designs, as well as popular racing elements, including speakers in the head rest which alert racers to caution flags, as well as doling out helpful hints to tackle the track in the fastest time.
The carts at Thunder Alley also feature powerful “turbo boosts,” which provide a sudden burst of speed while racing. Folks can use the booster twice during each race.
“Thunder Alley at Big Cedar Lodge is one of the most amazing go-cart tracks in America,” said Martin Truex Jr., who personally tested out the track earlier this week. “I want to add the turbo boost feature to my car next season.”
Thunder Alley also features a “short track” next to the main track for young racers to get in on the action.
“These new exciting attractions come in response to feedback from our guests asking for even more over-the-top fun for kids of all ages,” said Debbie Bennett, Vice President of Hospitality for Big Cedar Lodge and Bass Pro Shops. “Both challenging new additions make Fun Mountain a fun new amenity for friends, families and groups to explore the outdoors at a slightly more hair-raising pace.”
All Fun Mountain activities are open to the public, as well as Big Cedar Lodge guests.