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[PHOTOS] From mine to tourist attraction: 6 innovative reclamation projects

From abandoned mine to tourist attraction: 6 innovative projects

Mining reclamation projects generally receive little to no attention from media outlets. Ask any responsible miner and they’ll tell you that’s a good thing.

That’s become the goal of mine reclamation is to go unnoticed, restoring the land into as good or in better shape than before. And while a company’s approach to reclamation is generally based off community input, a new and innovative trend is beginning to gain steam.

Take a look at the top projects across the globe breathing new life into former mines while creating exciting tourist attractions in the process.

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The Eden Project

Situated in Cornwall, England, the Eden Project is one of the largest indoor rainforests in the world. The project is comprised of a series of interconnected enclosures that replicate different global environments. First opened to the public in 2001, the former mine welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Salina Turda

First opened in 1992, the Salina Turda salt mines inTransylvania, Romania was one of the first unused mines to be converted into a tourist attraction.  The site, which descends almost 400 feet into the Earth, have come a wonderland for visitors across the world.

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At 140 feet down, the mine includes a 180-seat amphitheater and carousel. At 370 feet down, the mine provides access to a small lake where boats can be rented. A large rotating wheel allows visitors to see the stalagmites throughout the cave. 

Mega Cavern

If exploring an abandoned underground mine wasn’t enough, the people from Louisville Mega Cavern have created the ultimate indoor bike park. The reclaimed site is located 100 feet underground and encompasses over 320,000 square feet, including more than 45 trails for BMX, cross country and single track.

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Go Below® Ultimate Xtreme™

If you’re looking for the ultimate thrill ride, Go Below® Ultimate Xtreme™ is surely for you. Formerly known as Zip Below Xtreme, this abandoned slate mine is located 1,230 feet beneath the Wales’ Snowdonia National Park and features an underground obstacle course. From zip-lining through caverns to boating across a lake, Go Below is the ultimate underground adventure.'

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Located in Krakow, Poland, the former Wieliczka Salt Mine draws millions of visitors every year. Built in the 13th century, it was one of the world’s oldest operating mines until its closure in 2007. Now, the underground salt mine is a dreamland cathedral for visitors.

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Bounce Below

Located in a 175-year old underground slate mine, Bounce Below is a subterranean playground featuring “the world’s largest underground trampoline.” Opened in 2014, the site consists of three separate “bouncy nets” spread across a distance of 180 feet from top to bottom. 

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