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Lakemont Park changes

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Not to mention the all day pass includes the go karts.......that in itself is worth the 20 bucks. i took a family of four to a local FEC in Deep Creek Lake in Mayland and it basically was 2 kart traks, mini golf, and those flying saucer like bumper cars.....total spent was $160....and that was almost 5 years ago........

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  • 2 months later...

For those who enjoyed Lakemont's Herschel Twister, please note it was sold to Midway Park, in additional to their Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel.




This vintage Upstate NY amusement park is a treasure trove of nostalgia

By Ngoc Huynh | nhuynh@nyup.com | Posted July 11, 2019 at 06:30 AM


Step back in time for some fun at one of the oldest continually operating amusement parks in the nation since 1898.


Midway State Park provides classic midway games, old-fashioned candy apple, and a vintage carousel that overlooks Chautauqua Lake. It's about about 8 miles from Chautauqua and located at 4859 Route 430 in Bemus Point. Originally established as a trolley park, it's the only amusement park owned by New York state.


Before Six Flags, Disney resort attractions, and Universal Studios, many Americans enjoyed trolley parks.


U.S. railway companies built these trolley parks, hence the name. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, they constructed the parks as a way to earn weekend business. Customers frequent streetcars and railways while commuting to and from work. However, fares collected for weekends were low.


To solve that problem, many rail companies placed the parks at the end of their lines to maximize profits. Typically built by lakes, rivers, or beaches, the parks offered swimming, picnic grounds, ball fields, and live entertainment.


Midway State Park was established by the Jamestown & Lake Erie Railway in 1898. The trolley went from Mayville to Westfield. Midway got its name because it was midway on the lake between certain spots for the ferryboats and tour boats.


Families could relax and picnic at Midway. The park had 500 feet of lake front, a sandy beach for bathing, dance hall, playing fields, and tennis courts. Patrons enjoyed baseball, boating, dancing and more.


Guess how much a round-trip ticket on the railway from Jamestown or Mayville to Midway costs? Back then - 25 cents!


Usually, one of the first rides at trolley parks is a carousel. However, the first ride at Midway was the Jack Rabbit roller coaster in 1924.


The current carousel was actually made right in North Tonawanda at the Herschell Carousel Factory. It's a 1946 carousel that was purchased by the park in 1968 when Owasco Lake Park in Auburn closed. There is an extensive collection of Alan Herschell rides onsite.


Aside from the carousel, children and parents can take part in a game of mini golf, take a spin on the tilt-a whirl, or ride the go-karts. There are also many kiddie rides.


According to the National Amusement Park Historical Association, about 1,000 trolley parks operated in the U.S. by 1919. As automobiles became more accessible and gained popularity, trolley parks began shutting down. By the 1950s, Disneyland became a phenomenon and Americans flocked to theme parks.


In 2006, the state purchased Midway to preserve for all time. It is operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.


Midway typically opens from May to September.


Hours: Depends, but typically opens from noon to 7 p.m. daily. Check the calendar. Amusement rides and the arcade are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Rides are closed from 3 to 3:30 p.m. for safety checks.


Cost: There is no admission cost. Fees are for rides and games. Regular weekend day fee is $16 for Wristband 42" and over while $11 for Wristband under 42." Regular weekday fee is $14 for Wristband 42" and over while $9 for Wristband under 42."


The train, manufactured by the Miniature train Company in 1955, came to Midway in 1958. Running around the exterior of the park at 15 miles per hour, passengers are greeted by cartoon cutouts such as Little Bo Peep, Mother Goose, and Ferdinand the Bull.


The train ride begins at the Chautauqua Choo Choo Train Station. After all the passengers are on board, the conductor blows the whistle and the 4 minute ride begins. The ride is a popular way for visitors to start their day as it provides a view of the most of the rides during the trip which helps to plan their day.


Any child will feel like a super star after reaching the top of this 24-foot climbing wall and ringing the buzzer. Vertical Reality built the wall and installed it at Midway in 2000. If the climber makes it to the top, they will be able see a broad view of the ride area. The best part is that there are three sides to the wall so even if one side is mastered there are two other sides to try.


Midway has recently purchased two historic rides that are currently being refurbished for installment in the park - a 1948 Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel and a 1959 Herschell Twister. They were purchased from a trolley park in Lakemont Park in Altoona, PA.


Currently, among the events that Midway hosts include a large car show every Labor Day. Also, the Chautauqua Belle Steamship makes scheduled stops at Midway’s dock, reminiscent of the days when the lake had heavy steamship traffic

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Midway has one of the best looking roller rinks I've ever seen. Too bad it's been closed to the public for awhile. But yeah, there's only one Twister on the road with a small show in Indiana, so this ride being re-opened in NY is a great thing.

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I remember the Twister as being an unique ride I have ever seen, and to learn that this ride will now operate in another park is great news indeed. I checked out the site and found this park is more in tune to kids and families rather than the riders and amusement park flyers, so if I ever go there I'll just ride a few rides, shoot some miniature golf, play some arcade games in the pavilion, and kill a few hours.

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I rode a Twister at Gun Town Mountain in Kentucky sometime around 2003. I remember it being one of the craziest flat ride experiences ever. The spinning was relentless in the best way—like a tilt-a-whirl on allll the drugs. Glad to see one of these lives on!

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We had a Twister come to us during our annual fair, The PNE, years ago.

Just loved riding it, and watching everybody freek out on it, LOL!

And I am pretty sure it was the Herschell one.


At the PNE, long time ago. Photo from Vancouver Archives.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was really excited to finally get to Lakemont this year - but just noticed on rcdb that Leap the Dips is still listed as SBNO, and upon closer inspection on the park's website, Leap the Dips is listed as not open (just for today though). I hadn't heard anything about it not opening and had just assumed this would FOR SURE be the coaster that was open this year with the rebranding.


Anybody have more information?? We'll probably still go anyways, but I've been trying to ride LtD for like 6 years now and each time it's never worked out.

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^^I was at the park a week or so back. Between my first visit in June and now, Leap the Dips looks much much better. Lots of fresh paint and seems like some general work is being done. I noticed a second car had been moved from the depot and yeah, it looks better than it did when the park was open a few years back. I would think they intend to open it this season. After all this work, I am sure they would be disappointed otherwise.


Skyline, on the other hand, needs a lot of work. It doesn't ride that rough. But I don't think I've been on a wooden coaster that looks this bad. It can't cost *that* much to give the coaster some fresh paint.




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Here's hoping for a quick reopening. I had the perfect day to go there over a month ago, but alas, Leap the Dips was closed. If TTD at Cedar Point doesn't reopen before next week, LtD could very well end up as my 100th coaster. That would be cool.

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We did end up going to the park a few days ago, and I have to say I was pretty impressed! It was very clean and generally not dumpy-looking. Skyliner wasn't necessarily smooth, but I thought it rode decently well and was a pretty enjoyable lap. Leap the Dips looked really great. Love the ride's old school station/entrance/stage thing.


I don't hate their pricing model at all, I thought it was really fair. You have to buy tickets for individual rides (you can't just buy 10 tickets and use them for whatever). For anyone with kids, each ride has a different policy in terms of how old/tall/capable you have to be to ride it alone or what constitutes a qualified "adult chaperone". For us this meant that we thought we could get away with our nephew taking our son on a bunch of things (it's also what we were told at the ticket counter), but this was not always the case and we ended up having to buy a few extra tickets that we didn't plan on. Would have just been easier for one of us to buy a wristband, and really $20 is not a bad deal at the end of the day. Especially considering that it includes mini golf, go karts, and the splash area.


I thought the place was great and love the small "city park" vibe. Seems like a super enjoyable and affordable afternoon for local families. Will definitely make the trip back when we're in the area and LtD is open again.

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^I agree with much of what you said. But there’s no reason they can’t just sell all tickets in $1 increments and then set the coasters at 3 tickets and the other rides at 2. And then if you want to have a special go kart ticket you could or it just be 6 tickets. In it’s current state, you have to pre decide what you’re going to do and buy those tickets. Which slows the customer AND staff down when they’re providing you with 8 different tickets. And then you need to find your specific ticket when you want to ride.


Knoebels is... much much easier. And I just go and buy a bunch of $20 books and let it fly. Lakemont is not encouraging spending, instead creating a barrier.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 11 months later...

So, in the aftermath of my cancelled Western PA Trip (which would have encompassed Lakemont, Idlewild, and Kennywood), I decided today to take a ride out to Lakemont (about a 3.5 hour drive) to get their credits, namely Leap-the-Dips.  Being able to say you've been on the world's oldest operating coaster carries are certain amount of coaster nerd cred, haha.  Knowing that this place is kind of a shithole, and occasionally decides to not run rides even on perfect-weather Saturdays, I checked their website and social media for any news of closures.  None found.  Good news?

Of course not...IMG_20210710_124451462.thumb.jpg.855e44869749c9e776b6e10c710dfd96.jpg

Underneath that little bit of red magnet in the bottom right corner of the park map, is in fact, Leap-the-Dips.  God damnit.

Upon closer inspection, there was a nice sign out front saying that it was "closed for maintenance," but notably in the hour I spent at the park, I saw no one working on it.

I was both amazed and not surprised at all that anyone could very easily walk up and sit in one the car that's on the course.

Anyway, made my way to the other end of the park, dropped the $6 and change for 6 tickets, and hopped on Skyliner for two solo rides - one in the front row and one in the 2nd to back (they weren't seating anyone in the very back row for some reason).  Decent enough for a woodie of its vintage, especially in the back where I caught a couple of pops of air, but holy crap is that first valley at the bottom of the main drop a jarring jolt.

As everyone knows, the only other rides they have beside the two coasters is a train ride, go-karts, a kiddie coaster, drive-'em cars, and a laughably sparsely decorated kiddie monster trucks ride.  Oh, and a "water park" consisting of two kiddie splash ponds.  So yeah, nothing else here for me.  The mini-golf looked kinda cool, but who plays mini-golf by themselves?

I did try a burger from the Lakeside Cafe, for $6.75, which was disgusting and barely edible - I finished about half of it.  Which isn't saying much, since it was tiny (quarter included for size reference).


After that, I took off and headed home (with a slight detour to Adventure Park USA for the Zamperla credit there).  Kinda a waste of almost 500 miles worth of gas, but whatever.  I'll try stopping by sometime on my way to or from Ohio parks in the future to get on Leap the Dips.

At least the place is pretty?  Aside from the rides...yeah, seriously, paint the coasters.

Lots of pictures incoming....


So long, Lakemont.  Please, can Knoebels save these coasters?




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Thanks for the report! I was trying to squeeze Lakemont into my trip East next week, but ultimately, I couldn't make it fit in the time allotted that I had, and their Thursday-Sunday ride operating schedule. Hearing that Leap the Dips is still very much a hit or miss (and usually miss) chance of being open, I'm glad I didn't bend over backwards to make it happen, as chances are it would have ended up being closed anyway. Hopefully someday I can make it out there, while I'm already in the area, and catch Leap the Dips open!

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3 hours ago, DBru said:

Shew, those coasters sure look dilapidated...

Hope I can get on both of them next month! lol

Can adults ride/credit whore the kiddie coaster?

No idea; I didn't try.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I got ride(s) on Leap the Dips, finally!  Stopped by Lakemont on my way home from Cedar Point, and it was running!  And by running, I mean, ran for me...I didn't see anyone else trying to ride.  The ride op even let me go around again, in the other row that I hadn't on the first lap, for no extra tickets.  What did I think?

Front Seat:  Awesome!  Incredibly smooth for its age/type, couple of nice pops of air where the front wheels came up off the track.  It's just a FUN ride, not "thrilling," of course, but loads of fun.  Its incredible to think than around a hundred years ago this was just about the pinnacle of excitement to be had.

Back Seat: How insanely different switching rows on a one-train, two-row car can be.  This is like a whole different ride, throwing you out of the seat and slamming you back down into it.  The ride op said "the back is a whole lot rougher," and yeah some of those Dips certainly caused me to Leap, but honestly I've been on rougher wooden coasters (looking at you here, Roar at SFA, Wildcat at Hershey, and Mine Blower at Fun Spot Kissimmee).

With that, it brings my count to a nice round 180.

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^Congrats and getting Leap and 180!  I love Leap and the rest of Lakemont.  A shining and clear example of how a little old coaster can be more fun than a 300+ thrill machine (my words...).  It's a theme you will see more and more! 

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  • 2 years later...

This park is dying. No coasters this year. Sad to see.


Breaking - Big News Out of #LakemontPark

Lakemont Park, a longstanding attraction in the Altoona area,
announces significant changes for the 2024 Spring/Summer season. The Park grounds have been
a focal point for our community for 130 years, and how the land has been used continues to
evolve based on the needs of Blair County residents. As our community grows, develops, and
changes, Lakemont Park has to adapt and change, too. This 2024 season at Lakemont Park will
look different than in years past, as we transition to new and improved events and activities to
serve our guests better.
The 2024 season will feature four batting cages, four basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two
mini-golf courses, and ten pavilions. Notably, the amusement rides, including Skyliner and Leap
The Dips, will not be operational during the summer season due to declining attendance,
increased maintenance costs of two wooden rollercoasters and rides, and other financial
challenges. Andrea Cohen, President of Lakemont Park, expressed, “This was a difficult decision
to make. We hope our community will find new ways to enjoy our beautiful grounds as we
update the Lakemont Park experience.”
Some things will not change. Lakemont Park will continue to host the Central Blair Recreation
Commission Men’s Summer League. The Park will also continue to host school picnics in the
spring as well as the camps in the summer. And, planning for the 2024 Holiday Lights on the
Lake is already underway, as we are excited to continue hosting this longtime tradition.
Lakemont Park land, owned by Blair County, is intended for parks and recreation. “We met with
a few businesses and organizations to use the grounds for recreational sporting events and
welcome the opportunity to discuss new business ventures,” noted Cohen. We invite
collaboration with the community to explore new uses and improvements and we are open to
renting our facilities for community events, including music festivals, craft shows, car shows,
fundraising walks, yard sales, and more. Interested parties can contact Lakemont Park
at info@lakemontparkfun.com. “Our community has enjoyed the Park grounds since 1894.
Lakemont Park is a perfect event gathering place, allowing family and friends to connect
outdoors. We enjoy partnering with local organizations to host their special events and
fundraisers, using our conveniently located facility,” stated Cohen.
Reservations for the 2024 season are now being accepted through the Park office. The pavilions
offer a unique opportunity where guests can bring their own food or hire Snappy Chef for a
catered event. Visitors will have access to 36 mini-golf holes at The Links at Lakemont. The
700 Park Avenue ∙ Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
Phone (814) 949-7275 Fax (814) 949-9207
Rabbit Hole course embraces a Pennsylvania Woodlands theme that local artist Michael Allison
designed. Harris Mini-Golf of Wildwood, NJ, designed the Keystone Falls 18-hole course, which
is a challenging, regulation-sized, ADA-accessible course featuring a stone waterfall and ponds.
Special discounted tickets for mini-golf groups of 20 or more are available, and classic yard
games can be rented through the office. The four baseball/softball batting cages cater to both team
usage and individuals of all ages for practice and entertainment.
A limited number of seasonal staff positions are available to assist with operations, grounds,
special events, and organizing Holiday Lights on the Lake. Applications can be found on our
website at lakemontparkfun.com or by emailing info@lakemontparkfun.com.
• Mid-April through Early June: Batting cages and mini-golf
• Wednesday to Friday: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
• Saturday and Sunday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
• 48-hour notice required for 30-60 minute batting cage rentals
• June-August: During school summer vacation
• Wednesday to Friday: 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm
• Saturday and Sunday: 1:30 pm - 8:30 pm
• Closed Monday and Tuesday, including holidays
• Once school starts: Weekends only until Labor Day weekend
• Sunday of Labor Day is the last day of the season

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