One of two wooden coasters at Carowinds, Thunder Road has been operating since 1976.  It was designed as a racing coaster and built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters.  The ride is accessed by separate entrances for North Carolina and South Carolina.

 Seating 2 across in 12 rows for a total capacity of 24 riders, the train makes a left or right turn from the loading station, depending upon which side you are riding. It then ascends a 93-foot lift hill before dropping 88 feet.  From that point it navigates a number of consecutive small drops and a turn – again, left or right, depending upon the side – followed by more drops and a return to the station.

 Although I saw the two trains being dispatched simultaneously at one point, this did not happen during either of my two rides.  I was only marginally aware of the other train and this was a disappointment.  That being said, I found the ride to be enjoyable.  It’s hardly a high thrill ride but it does offer some decent airtime and is surprisingly smooth for a wooden coaster of such vintage.  I didn’t feel any of the roughness that I have come to associate with older woodies.

 Thunder Road is a fun coaster and a welcome break from the more intense rides at Carowinds.  3 out of 5 stars.  Video courtesy of Carowinds.  For more information about rides at Carowinds, visit