Aerie’s Alpine Coaster (2023 Guide)

Looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure in Illinois?

Then you’ll want to try out the new Aerie’s Alpine Coaster, the first and only alpine coaster in the state.

This exciting attraction promises a heart-pumping experience as you zoom down a winding track that twists and turns through the scenic countryside.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun activity for the whole family, this alpine coaster is sure to deliver a ride you won’t forget.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this exciting new attraction, its features, and what you can expect on your ride.

Aerial view of the Aerie's Alpine Coaster in Grafton Illinois


Aerie’s Alpine Coaster – What To Expect

This alpine coaster is an exciting addition to alpine and mountain coasters in the United States.

As the only alpine coaster in the state of Illinois, it provides residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the thrilling ride in a beautiful setting.

The alpine coaster is located at the top of the hill so you’ll need to ride the Grafton SkyTour, which is an additional cost ($10 per person at the time of writing).

The Grafton SkyTour is a great family-friendly activity and the best way to enjoy the breathtaking views of the unique Grafton bluffs, and the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

From the top of the Grafton SkyTour, you’ll head over to the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster.

Once you’ve been through the relevant safety briefings and instructions on how to ride the coaster you’ll be ready to head down the mountain.

The ride starts with the downhill section first.

From top to bottom, you’ll experience 7 hair-pin turns and 8 waves/twisters over the 3,101 feet of downhill track. From here the cart begins its cable-pulled ascent back to the starting point.

Overall, the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster is a ride that is definitely worth checking out.

To make the most of your trip we’d recommend taking part in the other activities on offer at Aerie’s Resort such as the zipline, winery and terrace.

How Long is the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster?

The Aerie’s Alpine Coaster has a total track length of nearly 4,000 feet (1,218 meters) and a downhill track length of 3,010 feet (917 meters).

The downhill ride time is about 90 seconds, depending on your speed (mountain coasters have a manual brake so this is something you’re able to control).

The mountain coaster has a total ride time of 5 minutes, this includes the cable-pulled ascent back to the starting point at the end of the ride.

How Fast is the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster?

The Aerie’s Alpine Coaster can reach a maximum speed of 25 mp/h (40 km/h).

As a safety feature, there is an automatic braking system that prevents the carts from going over the maximum speed.

In addition, this alpine coaster is fitted with a manual brake that lets riders control the speed of their descent.

If 25 mp/h (40 km/h) is too fast for you, you can slow the ride down to a speed that feels more comfortable.

The brake levers are located on either side of the cart. You pull them back to engage the brakes.

It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and before you know it you’ll be cruising down the mountain.

What Is An Alpine Coaster?

If you’re unfamiliar with alpine coasters (also known as mountain coasters), check out the post we wrote.

Mountain or alpine coasters are gravity-powered roller coasters that use the natural contours of a mountain to provide riders with a thrilling downhill ride experience.

Alpine coasters are a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. However, given the nature of this ride, there are some age and height restrictions that apply.

In addition, alpine coasters are equipped with a manual brake, enabling riders to adjust their descent speed.

This unique feature allows riders to have greater control of their experience.

If things get a bit too fast for your liking you can apply the brake, if you’re more of the daredevil type then you can leave the brake untouched for maximum speed.

And finally, no prior experience or training is necessary. You can just jump in and enjoy the ride.

Aerie’s Alpine Coaster Video

One of the great things about alpine coasters is that many people have filmed their experiences.

These videos give you an opportunity to “experience” the ride before you go on it.

The video below gives you a first-person view of what you can expect from start to finish on the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster.

One thing to be aware of though is that point-of-view videos can be a bit misleading.

The wide-angled lens makes the drops shallower and the ride seems way slower than it is in real life.

They provide a good idea of what the ride looks like but only real-world experience tells you how they feel.

So get out there and try it for yourself!

How Much Does the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster Cost?

At the time of writing, the cost to ride the Aerie’s Alpine Coaster was as follows:

Ride PackagesPrice ($)
Single adult (one ride)$18
Single adult (three-ride deal)$36
Single child (one ride)$13
Single child (three-ride deal)$26
Adult + Child (one ride)$28
Adult + Child (three-ride deal)$56
Two children (one ride)$23
Two children (three-ride deal)$46

A few things to note about the rides and prices:

  • Children are ages 13 and under
  • The three-ride deals are only valid for same-day rides
  • Two adults may not ride together

Aerie’s Alpine Coaster Operating Hours

At the time of writing, Aerie’s Alpine Coaster operating hours were as follows:

Monday – WednesdayClosed
Thursday – Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

The latest operating time can be found on the website here.

The Aerie’s alpine coaster operates all year round so you can enjoy this thrilling ride anytime you want.

Rider Requirements

As with any ride of this nature, there are some rider and passenger requirements that are put in place for your safety:

  • At least 54″ tall to ride alone
  • Passengers (front seat) must be 38″ or taller and at least 3 years old
  • If there are two people in the cart the driver must be at least 16 years old.
  • The maximum combined weight per cart is 375 lbs in dry weather and 330 lbs in wet weather.

Riders will need to fill in a waiver form before taking part in this ride. This is something you can do in advance by downloading the form online here.

Location and How to Get There

The Aerie’s Alpine Coaster is located at the Aerie’s Resort in Grafton, Illinois.

Address: 14 W Main Street Grafton, IL 62037

Directions to the alpine coaster can be found on the map below:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new coaster in Grafton?

The new coaster in Grafton is an alpine coaster known as Aerie’s Alpine Coaster.

This is the first alpine coaster in Illinois with 3,101 feet of downhill track.

The Aerie’s Alpine Coaster is a family-friendly activity that operates all year round.

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