You Can Hike, Fish and Even Ski at These Visitor-Friendly Power Plants

Copenhagen’s new green power plant with a ski slope is just the latest energy facility with tourist attractions

Visitors to CopenHill can ski or snowboard on four artificial slopes, a slalom course and a freestyle park. (BIG)

Denmark is one of the world’s flattest countries, but as of last week it’s got its own ski spot...on top of a power plant. Copenhagen’s CopenHill, also known as Amager Bakke, is a green energy facility-slash-recreation area. It’s got hiking trails, the world's tallest artificial climbing wall at a dizzying 279 feet, a roof garden and, the pièce de résistance, an artificial ski and snowboard slope. Visitors can actually descend four trails, a slalom course and a freestyle park before hoisting a pilsner at the après-ski bar.

Designed by BIG, the firm of Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels, the plant is “waste-to-energy,” meaning it burns waste instead of fossil fuel to generate heat and electricity. Capable of heating and powering 150,000 Danish homes, it’s part of Copenhagen’s plan of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. Ingels calls his design an example of "hedonistic sustainability," but CopenHill is not the world’s only power plant with a fun side. You can hike, bike, and even go fishing in these eco-friendly energy facilities.

Mountain bike at Scotland’s Whitelee Wind Farm

Near Glasgow, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm generates enough power for 300,000 homes. It’s also a super-popular getaway from Scotland’s largest city, thanks to more than 80 miles of recreational hiking, biking and horse-riding track. On weekends, rent a bike from the on-site rental shop and hit the trails, powering along single track beneath silvery-gray lowland skies, then stopping for a shower and a scone at the visitor’s center. Weekends also bring all sorts of events, from concerts to guided stargazing to children’s craft workshops.


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