In accordance with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas, on June 6, Natural Bridge Caverns will open ‘ALL’ attractions including their newest, “Twisted Trails Adventure Course.” Twisted Trails was originally completed and had its grand opening Jan. 24, but then closed March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it reopens along with other park attractions like the Discovery Tour, Hidden Passages Tour, Discovery Village Mining Company and the AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup.
These activities provide guests a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy some wide-open and, in some cases, HIGH UP spaces. On the Twisted Trails you can soar through the sky on one of seven zip rails, test your agility on a four-level, 60-foot high ropes course, and show off your skills on four different climbing walls. “It’s an aerial adventure for all ages,” said Travis Wuest, co-owner and vice president of Natural Bridge Caverns. Twisted Trails was designed and installed by RCI Adventure Products in Michigan who claims it is the largest outdoor Sky Trail™ & Sky Rail™ attraction in the World. The combined attraction covers an astounding 13,500 sq. feet and features 50 elements to challenge children and adults alike with such activities as lily pads, stepping stones, weave walk, squid steps and a rolling log. Twisted Trails takes outdoor entertainment to another level. Literally.
Without missing a step, guests can easily transition from the ropes course onto one of seven curved Sky Rails™ ranging from 82-feet long to 125-feet long and soar through the air. 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. 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° curved rail, providing the guest with a soaring roller coaster type experience, at an estimated 8-12 miles per hour. Start out on the lower levels to build your confidence or quickly make your way to the top.
The new Twisted Trails Tykes is a smaller version of the Twisted Trails course allowing pint-sized adventure seekers, 4-foot tall and under, to experience the adventure of the larger course including a Sky Rail™ dedicated just for them.
Safety First. “There is no higher priority than the safety of our guests and staff,” said Brad Wuest, co-owner and president of Natural Bridge Caverns. “Safety has always been our top priority and one of our four customer service standards.” With guests venturing up to 60 feet in the air, physical safety is a top concern; however, enhanced safety protocols have been developed to minimize the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 while enjoying this thrilling attraction.
Guest safety begins before you even arrive at the park.
- NEW advanced ticketing options for Twisted Trails. Guests can purchase online tickets for a specific time slot due to limited capacities. Reserved tickets are recommended.
- Upon arrival, point of sales locations will have an acrylic shield between the guests and staff.
- Physical distancing stickers will be placed on the ground to help groups maintain 6 feet of distance in between them.
- Hand-washing stations and sanitizer will be available to use before and after your Twisted Trails adventure.
- Each guest must be harnessed by a certified operator to participate. During this process, both the guest and staff member will be required to wear face coverings.
- While navigating the course, capacities will be limited to allow for physical distancing.
- When exiting the attraction, face coverings are required as a staff member removes the harness.
- Equipment will be sanitized and cleaned frequently.
Additional safety protocols have been added around the park such as limited capacities for all attractions and buildings to allow for physical distancing, a dedicated cleaning and sanitation crew, daily health screenings for employees, face coverings worn by employees when physical distancing is not possible, other personal protective equipment is provided to employees, and more. A complete list can be found on our website under the F.A.Q. section.
National Caves & Karst Day, June 6, is celebrated as part of the International Day of Caves & the Subterranean World. It is celebrated to bring awareness to the importance of caves and karst landscapes as well as the historical, archeological, geological and hydrological history they provide.
Spending time in nature is a welcome escape after weeks of sheltering in place. Many studies report that spending time in nature can boost mental and physical well-being, improve concentration, increase energy, reduce stress and lower blood pressure and heart rates. When paired with exercise, such as hiking to or in a cave, the results are maximized. It’s quality time that a family can spend together, focusing on nature rather than screens.
Come out and celebrate National Caves & Karst Day as we reopen ALL our attractions at Natural Bridge Caverns. Tickets are now available online and guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance due to limited capacities. Ticket prices vary by date, and guests can save more by planning and purchasing days in advance.
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ABOUT NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
On March 27, 1960, four college students, Orion Knox Jr., Preston Knodell Jr., Al Brandt and Joe Cantu from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio began an underground exploration that ultimately would reveal the most extensive, largest cavern system in Texas. After hearing of an incredible 60-foot natural limestone bridge, which later became the caverns’ namesake, the students asked landowner Clara Wuest if they could investigate what laid beneath their family’s ranch. On the cavers’ fourth expedition, they uncovered a long, narrow crawlspace that ultimately opened into 2 miles of virgin caverns. Today, their discovery is recognized as one of the world’s premier show caverns.
Natural Bridge Caverns located between San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas, offers year-round activities including multiple cavern tours, a maze, an adventure course, gemstone mining, restaurants and shopping. Grounds offer several ideal settings for weddings, groups and birthday parties. Christmas at the Caverns includes holiday light displays, carolers throughout the caverns, and a hill country hayride. Natural Bridge Caverns is owned and operated by the Wuest family and is a designated Texas Historic Site, National Natural Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- freestonecountytimesonline.com | June 6, 2020