It was a cool crisp Michigan morning.  The day I would finally be able to ride the wooden giant -- Shivering Timbers. I eagerly jumped into the car for the ten-minute ride to Michigan's Adventure.  Upon driving down the scenic road on the way to the park, several trees shadowed over us.  Suddenly, the trees stopped, and the amazing structure of lumber came into site.

Shivering Timbers is the largest wooden coaster that CCI has constructed.  The ride stands 125ft tall and reaches a max speed of 65mph.  Shivering Timber's giant 5,384-foot out and back layout consists of several huge drops, bunny hops, and an incredible helix finale.


We entered the gates at 9 o'clock and began walking briskly towards Shivering Timbers, till we were finally greeted by a giant yellow rope!  We waited patiently until finally the rope was let down, and we were allowed to enter the queue.  The moment I had been waiting for!

The ride begins with a quick 90-degree turn, leading into the chain lift.  The lift-hill is traditional CCI - not too fast, not too slow.  The lift also provides a wonderful view of the park.  You can also note how much room Michigan's Adventure has to expand.

Once you reach the apex of the lift, you are quickly yanked over the top and begin heading down the incredible 120ft first drop.  Reaching speeds of 65mph, you head 100ft up into the second hill.  Tons of air over the top, and we are soon flying back towards the ground and up into the third hill, which tops out at 95ft.

Next, the train heads up and over the fourth hill, which stands at 50ft.  Like the three previous drops, this one features several seconds of airtime.  Still navigating the course at extremely high speeds, you haul through a large, swooping turnaround.  Exiting the turnaround, you are greeted by a surprise drop that leads into the second half of the ride.

The second half of the ride consists of bunny hop and bunny hop, all taken at very high speeds.  Every bunny up  - a constant flow of up and down - sends you flying out of your seat.  You also hit an unexpected section of trick track, which is a very nice treat.  It's too bad more coasters these days don't feature this classic element.  Following the trick track, we head over a few more bunny hops until we reach one of the biggest highlights of the ride, the helix.

Soaring through the helix, the G's and speed keep increase tremendously, until finally you exit and head up onto the final brake run. 

The final helix is amazing.  It provides incredible laterals, and is taken at very high speeds.  It can easily be compared to the incredible helix of The Beast at Paramount's Kings Island.


When I got off the ride, I was amazed at what I had just experienced.  Shivering Timbers is unlike any other wooden coaster in the world.  It keeps you out of your seat for virtually the entire ride.  The three initial drops are amazing, and the second and third can be compared to the first drops of several great wooden coasters operating today.  Add in the trick track, bunny hops, and incredible finale, and you have yourself one hell of a ride.

Throughout the day, I rode Shivering Timbers several more times, trying out almost every seat.  The front is smoother and features tons of airtime.  But the cool thing is that this coaster is amazing in virtually any seat you sit in.  There is not a single "bad" seat on the ride.

Shivering Timbers currently stands as one of my top wooden coasters.  It has more airtime than any other coaster I have ridden.  I highly recommend you get your butt out to Michigan's Adventure to experience this CCI masterpiece.

And now that Cedar Fair operates the park, we can hope for more rides on par with Shivering Timbers in the future!

Rating: 9/10


  • Tons of airtime

  • Trick track

  • Helix

  • Pacing


  • None

-Jeff Highsmith