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Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:24 am
by RAWKIN_coaster38
I first stumbled across this park by accident when I became horribly lost and distraught heading home after a fender bender. Suddenly, I rounded a corner in the Ohio countryside and BAM, a wooden roller coaster popped into view. I didn't have time to investigate, but later that night I looked up Stricker's Grove and discovered that the park was only open to the public a handful of times a year, making the two wooden coasters not only geographically isolated, but difficult to obtain credits. I missed my chance on July 4th, the July 4H fair, and August 13th, leaving only Labor Day and October 8th as possible visiting dates.

We arrived at the park at 4pm after driving 4 hours from Sandusky (bet you can't guess where we visited on Sunday), just in time for the 1 hour "dinner break" ride closure. To kill time, we ordered a beer and hit up the arcade. I am a HUGE fan of DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and found that the arcade had my favorite version of the game, so I played two rounds before we settled down to rest and wait for 5:00.

Finally, 5:00 hit and we were ready to check out the rides portion of Stricker's Grove!

The carousel, which we never rode, is the first ride at the "entrance" to the rides section.

Of course, we headed straight for Tornado, the biggest of the two wooden coasters.
We had to ride in the back row first!

Tornado is an interesting coaster and I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it.
Built in the early 90's, the coaster features PTC trains with seatbelts and buzz-bars. In general, the coaster seems to be in good condition besides the bottom of the first drop, which delivered a crazy "dent" that jack-hammered pretty badly on any wheel seat and toward the back of the ride. In the front, there was some slight airtime coming up the next hill, but then nothing to write home about after that. In the back, just after a somewhat double up mid-ride, you are THROWN into the buzz-bars in a moment that's jarring and slightly painful. Even when you knew what to expect, it somehow still caught us off-guard. After riding the coaster 7 times, I decided this was my favorite part of the ride, but I could easily see it being too sudden and painful for many people.
The drop

After hitting up Tornado, we took a ride on Teddy Bear, a much shorter, smoother, and calmer wooden coaster.
This type of ride would be perfect as an "intro" wooden coaster for smaller kids, but we didn't feel the need to ride it again.

After riding the two coasters, we turned our attention to the flats.
Pirate ship, adjacent to Tornado
I spot some flyers!

We decided to ride the flyers next. Now, I am a huge fan of these rides and a beginning "snapper," but something about these flyers made me a little cautious to go ham with the snapping. That, and the fact we were surrounded by young kids and a ride op who looked like he wouldn't care if one of the boats flew off and hit someone in the face, we decided not to try too hard to snap the things. Later, we rode it again and I decided they were just too slow to snap even if we wanted to. Probably the worst flyers I have ever been on, sorry Stricker's.
Worst flyers

Next, we tried this death trap. No one seemed to enjoy this ride, especially the adults.
One and done

We spotted this weird tilting, teacup spinning ride, and decided to try it out. D was not thrilled to be on a spinny ride.
Not enthused

These ended up being the sleeper hit of the evening! Seriously, I don't know what these are called but I've never been on a ride like them. You could manually spin the teacups, and at some point in the ride cycle, the floor would tilt and "jump" up and down. It was very fun and disorienting!
Seriously, WTF are these?

After getting super dizzy, we took a short break and decided to hit up the small train. It wound around the 4H pavilion, past the river, around a field, through a tunnel, and past Tornado. I was able to get some great photos!
Proof that Stricker's really is out in the fields of Ohio
Pretty at sunset

Next, we decided to ride the ferris wheel, which also offered some nice views.

Ferris wheels still scare me a bit

A few shots of the small rides we didn't ride.
The whip

We spotted some adults on The Whip, so we decided to give it a shot.

Next, we tried this. Fun, but short cycle.
Too short

Did not ride The Scrambler.

D decided to sit this one out
I couldn't get mine to spin very much
Pirate ship was fun!

We ended out our night with 6 rides on Tornado. The ride ops were very nice and accommodating! When they realized a little boy had jumped in front of us for the front row, they reserved the next front-row ride for us.

Overall, Stricker's Grove was a very charming, small, independent park with some nice rides. Would definitely return!

Thank you for reading!

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:59 am
by TheTristanA
Great TR, I got there at 2 PM and left right before you guys arrived.
And I agree, the airtime coming off that weird double up(?) is kinda insane and extremely abrupt.

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:26 pm
by ratdogg68
Great report, that Tea Cup ride is a old ride from the 70's, called the Tip Top. There are a few that travel with Carnivals, but they are rare in a Amusement Park.

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:54 pm
by Nrthwnd
Wow, I thought the Grove had closed down years ago! What a great find for you!
And it still looks like a nice sized family park, that everyone can enjoy.

Now, if they just got themself a Rock-O-Plane.... ;) Thanks for the TR.

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:21 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Great report of a rarely seen park!

I believe that crazy spinning ride is a Hrubetz Tip Top (Link). They used to have one called the Surfer at a lot of the local carnivals and the spinning on that ride was insane. The tubs were super easy to spin and the bounces amplified the spinning.

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:41 pm
by ThemeParkJunkie51290
Nice report! =) This park seems like so much fun!

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:27 am
by DILinator
Great report! I keep wanting to try and make it by one of the days they're open, but never remember to do so. Maybe Oct. 8th, or next year I'll finally make it out! It looks like a fun little place to take the kids! =)

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:18 pm
by cal1br3tto
Great trip report! I like your story of how you discovered the place; I wish that could happen to me, but I research parks too much. I approve of the airtime on Tornado, and I really enjoyed the crazy-teacups Tip-Top ride. Now I wish I'd ridden the kiddie Whip, lol.

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:45 pm
by bert425
love that you got to ride these hard to get coasters!

and I would have ridden the crap out of those flats too.. several of my favorites there. . .yeah, I love the "traveling carnival" type flats!

Re: Photo TR: Stricker's Grove, Labor Day 2017

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:13 pm
by CaptainUnknown
What was wrong with the round-up? I've always enjoyed that style of ride and am upset that few parks still have them.