The Timber Twister made its debut this summer and has been an instant hit with visitors to the Duluth area, according to [R416R, Spirit Mountain] Executive Director, Renee Mattson.

The Twister, a new year-round alpine coaster, is the only one in the Midwest, and there are only four currently operating across the nation.  Its 3,300-foot track allows you to race down the forested mountainside, through the treetops in individual coaster cars.  Riders travel alone or in pairs and control the speed, which can reach upwards to 26 mph on the downhill run. 

It's not your typical Alpine Slide, which can be found at other Midwest ski resorts.  This coaster runs on an elevated track - like a roller coaster - and makes hairpin turns.  With perhaps a few weather exceptions, say like a blizzard, the Timber Twister will operate year-round; unlike an Alpine Slide, which is strictly a summer operation.

Dressed for winter snow sports, a rider should have no problem with the cold.  It will be just like going downhill skiing or riding, about the same speed. 

Guests settle back in their cars for a comfortable and scenic return back to the top at the end of the 700-foot vertical drop down the mountain.  The complete experience, according to Mattson, takes around six minutes.

"It's been a thrilling experience for our guests and has brought a whole new level of summer business to Spirit.  It's been a nice new attraction for those visiting Duluth this summer, and brings us one step closer to becoming the year-round recreation area Spirit was intended to be," said the longtime executive director.

A Timber Twister 10-pack, transferable and no expiration dates, is $60.  A single ride is $8, and double riders are $12.  Fall is just starting to spread across northern Minnesota, which would be a great time to try the new ride.  Add in a visit to the world-class Great Lakes Aquarium and the historic, waterfront Canal Park District and make it an overnight trip.  Duluth, a city of 80,000-some people, offers a wide variety of lodging choices.

City-owned Spirit offers a big time skiing and riding for the Midwest.  It arguably has one of the best and biggest terrain parks in the Great Lakes region, and it's topped off with jaw-dropping views of Lake Superior and the Duluth harbor.

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