Maggie Valley, NC

The abandoned Ghost Town in the Sky - then and now.

Rooted Expeditions
The abandoned roller coaster the Red Devil Cliff Hanger.Rooted Expeditions

Today we are going to look at how this once thriving amusement park that sat atop a mountain in North Carolina, came to a terrible end resulting to its closer in 2009. From Financial issues, to faulty and dangerous rides. With Roller coasters, to a real life western town that would take you back in time and away from the current world.

But, now it sits abandoned allowing nature to take over the entire park. Hi I'm Zach and welcome to Rooted Expeditions. If you are a fan of the abandoned, historical and strange locations. Then you are in the right place. Hit that thumbs up and join us as we were granted special permission to explore this park. Join me, as we dig up the history of this place and find out what exactly happened and if this place will ever open its doors again.

At over 4,600 feet above sea level on Buck Mountain sits the Ghost Town in the Sky. Which the name suites the location very well. As its on the very top of a mountain, in the sky, and there is a town that is well, now a Ghost town. But, we will get to that in just a moment.
The view from one of the roller coasters on top of the mountain.Rooted Expeditions

The park opened its doors on May 1st 1961, and quickly became one of the most popular tourist attractions in North Carolina. This place became famous for its Wild-West theme, live action shows and beautiful views overlooking the towns and landscape below.
The old western town in Maggie Valley, that sits atop the mountain in the park.Rooted Expeditions

Visitors would park at the bottom of the mountain and have a choice to either ride up in this double incline railway which would take visitors 3,300 feet up the mountain to where the park was , or they could ride up a two seated chair lift.

Which at the time the two seated chair lift was the 2nd longest chairlift in the United States.
the now abandoned chairlift. Picture taken at the base of the mountain and at the front entrance.Rooted Expeditions
the now abandoned chairlift. Picture taken at the base of the mountain and at the front entrance.Rooted Expeditions
the now abandoned chairlift. Picture taken at the top of the mountain, overlooking the valley below.Rooted Expeditions

For many people this park would hold many childhood memories. Hitting its peak in the 70s and 80s. You can take a ride on the Red Devil Cliffhanger roller coaster which would hang over the edge of the mountain and even have a loop to give it that extra thrill.
The Red Devil Cliffhanger roller coaster. Was many of the local favorites as it would overlook the valley below.Rooted Expeditions

One of the most popular sections of this old west town was the Saloon which was called the Silver Dollar.
The once thriving saloon that would have dancers, singers, now sits abandoned and is slowly decaying away.Rooted Expeditions

The Park averaged about 500,000 visitors a year.

The Park even hosted several TV westerns along with several country singers, Reba McEntire being one of those.

Everything seem to be going great. That’s until the park started to suffer mismanagement and lack of maintenance around the park. A lot of the rides were breaking down regularly and some would take awhile to even open up again. Then one time the chairlift stopped stranding passengers up the mountain for several hours.
Games sit abandoned and are slowly decaying away. The tickets managed to stay intact over the years.Rooted Expeditions

Which this would upset many visitors and they would tell other people not to come. And in return this would hurt the park. And they were forced to shut down in 2002. The park would stay shut down until it could be fixed.
another structure that sits in town next to the chairlift and games.Rooted Expeditions

Then in 2006 the park was sold and the new owners came and dumbed about $38,000,000 in renovation and improvements to get the park back to where it needed to be. After doing so they would re-open in 2007.

But their plan that would have been a great come back would quickly end in a downward spiral as the 2007-2008 Financial crisis hit leaving a huge negative impact on the tourism and attendance at the park.
Standing on the platform of the Red Devil Cliffhanger you can see the chairlift and chairs down below.Rooted Expeditions

This would lead to the parks closing its doors in 2009

Sense then there has been talk about the parking opening its doors again. But nothing new to show that they will be opening anytime soon.

Then this year in April the Owner Alaska Presley died at the age of 98 and there is no telling who will take over ownership of the park and when the park will open its doors.
Ghost Town owner Alaska Presley on the main street of the western themed park in Maggie Valley. She had planned to open Friday but water linCitizen Times

The park now sits abandoned as nature take over what was once a thriving and memorable place for people.

Here is a little bit of history for you hit that thumbs up Peace I love you and as always God bless.
The Red Devil Cliffhanger roller coaster. Sits right next the chairlift and the games and prizes station.Rooted Expeditions

Primary Sources:

1. Video on Rooted Expeditions

2. Romantic Asheville

3. Wikipedia

4. Citizen Times

5. Smoky Mountain News

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If you're a fan of the abandoned, historical, and strange events and locations, then you're in the right place. I post videos and articles like what you see here every week. You can stay up to date on all my current content and updates on my YouTube channel. Link in bio.

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