Santa to Deliver Million Dollar Attraction to Natural Bridge Caverns Just in Time for the Holidays
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Santa is arriving a little early this year. His sled, actually two semi-trucks, will deliver a brand-new million-dollar attraction to Natural Bridge Caverns mid-October. The new “Twisted Trails Sky Adventure Course” will replace the former Canopy Explorer and Canopy Zip Line. The new aerial attraction will be installed over an estimated 31 days by “elves” from Ropes Courses Incorporated (RCI), a Michigan based developer that creates attractions for theme parks, resorts and cruise ships. According to RCI, Twisted Trails, once built, will be the Sky Trail® system that globally features the most Sky Rails™ in an outdoor attraction, Twisted Trails will be equipped with seven rails for participants to enjoy with an impressive 685 feet of total track.
Twisted Trails takes outdoor entertainment to another level. Literally. The six stories high attraction features four levels and will offer 50 elements to challenge children and adults alike with such activities as 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 portions of 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. No unclipping or helmets are required as the overhead tracking system and single redundant sling line allows individuals to easily transition from one part of the attraction to the other for uninterrupted play.
The new Twisted Trails Tykes is a smaller version of the Twisted Trail course allowing pint-sized adventure seekers 4-feet tall and under to experience the adventure of the larger course, including a Sky Rail™ dedicated just for them. “We are always looking at ways to enhance our guests’ experience while remaining true to our natural outdoor setting,” said Brad Wuest, co-owner and president of Natural Bridge Caverns. “This new adventure will appeal to guests of all ages, and there is nothing else like it.
Another exciting addition is the four Clip ‘N Climb® elements that will round out the new million-dollar 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 achieve victory.
Designed with two climbers in mind, the Jungle Gym consists of two separate routes leading up to a large cargo net in which participants battle to reach the top. This wall is a tough physical challenge that demands climbers have both 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.
Twisted Trails is an attraction with a long thrill element that puts the guest in complete control of their experience. “These courses offer our guests the opportunity to do something physical, to challenge themselves and, in some cases, overcome their fears. It’s an adventure for all ages,” said Travis Wuest, co-owner and vice president of Natural Bridge Caverns.
Safety First. A certified operator outfits every participant into a harness equipped with a single redundant sling line that keeps them secure while they work their way among the obstacles. The same safety harnesses are used on the Clip ‘N Climb®. Designed specifically for the climbing industry, TRUBLUE™ is the most trusted auto belay in the market for reliable fall protection and is used around the world at climbing gyms, indoor and outdoor climbing walls and recreation centers. TRUBLUE™ Auto Belay and Self Belay™ connectors erase the chance of an accidental webbing release and prevent climbers from connecting to incorrect harness points; braking resistance adjusts automatically to the weight of the climber, always resulting in a smooth descent.
Twisted Trails, with its neutral color scheme of browns, greens and faux wood-wrapped columns will allow the sunshine yellow Sky Rails™ to pop against the blue Texas sky all while blending in with the Hill Country landscape and the “natural” setting of the 450-acre nature complex.
The attraction is scheduled to open late November 2019.
Twisted Trails Course - $24.99
Twisted Trails Tykes - $7.99
Clip ‘N Climb - $10 or a $5 upgrade to Twisted Trails or Twisted Trails Tykes.
Natural Bridge Caverns, located at 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road between New Braunfels and San Antonio, is open every day except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.