Gainsville Times: New Alpine Coaster Opens in Helen


The Georgia Mountain Coaster, pictured Thursday, May 30, 2019, is open in Helen. The coaster climbs and descends a Helen hillside and took three years to permit, design and build. - photo by Nick Bowman

Article by Nick Bowman

An alpine coaster has opened in Helen.

The Georgia Mountain Coaster is a German-made alpine coaster, and it’s brand new in the White County tourist town and open most weekends.

For $15 for adults (and the second ride is half-off), visitors will experience a slow climb up a Helen hillside and a fast, thrilling descent back to South Main Street.

A family rides down the Georgia Mountain Coaster in May. The Helen coaster opened in mid-May and will be open most weekends in the summer while construction continues at the business. Photo courtesy of Judson Brown.

 The coaster has been in the works for about three years and is owned by Terry Sims, who also owns Cool River Tubing in Helen.

Built and designed by Wiegand Sports, the coaster stretches the better part of a mile up and down the hillside above 8409 S. Main St.

For now the coaster is open intermittently while construction continues on the business’ parking lot and main building, but the track is still accessible via a staircase near Paul’s Steakhouse on Main Street.

The business has been posting open hours to its website and Facebook page.

Georgia Mountain Coaster also has a few theme nights in the works for later this year, according to Judson Brown and Dylan Sims, two of the operators of the business. The track is lighted for nighttime runs — the coaster is open until 10 p.m. on weekends — and there are plans for a Halloween night and potentially a Christmas season update for the track.

Up to two people can ride per cart, meaning parents can accompany their small children, and the weight limit per cart is 375 pounds.

Helen's new Georgia Mountain Coaster was built by Wiegand, a German company specializing in alpine coasters. Rides are $15, and the second ride is half-off. - photo by Nick Bowman