Lakemont Park is an amusement park located in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The park opened in 1894 as a trolley park and became an amusement park in 1899. It is one of only thirteen trolley parks still operating, and the 8th oldest amusement park in the United States. The park was closed from 2017 to 2018, but re-opened in summer 2019.[1] It will be closed for the 2024 season.

Lakemont Park
Previously known as Boyertown USA
Skyliner roller coaster
LocationAltoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Coordinates40°28′18″N 78°23′44″W / 40.4717632°N 78.3954871°W / 40.4717632; -78.3954871
OwnerLakemont Park Center, LLC
Slogan"Two great parks, twice the fun!"
Operating seasonMay to Labor Day
Area60 acres (240,000 m2)
Roller coasters3
Water rides6 – Currently closed

Lakemont Park houses the world's oldest surviving roller coaster, Leap-The-Dips. On June 19, 1996, Leap-the-Dips was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks by the National Park Service.

History edit

Lakemont Park opened in 1894 as a trolley park, and became an amusement park in 1899. It was donated to Blair County in 1937. It was privatized on May 23, 1986 when it was purchased by the Boyer Candy Company, at which point it was called Boyertown USA. Although it was sold on July 1, 1988, it remained in continuous operation through 2016. The park was closed for the 2017 season, as many rides and attractions were undergoing maintenance. In 2018, Lakemont Park announced that it would remain closed for the season, with plans to reopen as a "family entertainment location with some amusements" in the summer of 2019. The park sold a lot of its former rides and attractions.[2] It successfully reopened in the summer of 2019.[3] The park will not operate during the 2024 season due to a lack of funds for ride maintenance.

Lakemont Park is also known for its 51-acre drive-through holiday light display, Holiday Lights on the Lake, which operates from November to January.

Current rides and attractions edit

The German Swings, with the Sky Diver in the background.

Lakemont Park has numerous outdoor attractions.

Roller coasters edit

Ride Opened Description Ref(s)
Leap-The-Dips 1902 A wooden, figure-eight type coaster with three four-seat trains. Only two figure-eight type roller coasters still survive in the world. Leap-The-Dips features 1,452 feet (443 m) of track and is one of the few surviving roller coasters with side friction. The ride was closed for all but two weeks in 2005, because of maintenance. The ride was also closed from 1986 to 1998.[4]
Skyliner 1987 A wooden coaster. Skyliner was relocated from Roseland Park in Canandaigua, New York, where it was built in 1960. It was moved to build up the park for the failed Boyertown USA project. This marks one of the few instances of a wooden roller coaster being moved.
Little Leaper A standard Allan Herschell Little Dipper kiddie coaster.

Other family rides and attractions edit

  • Paddle Boats[5]
  • Tin Lizzy Antique Cars
  • Motorway Go-Karts[5]
  • C.P. Huntington Train
  • 4 Batting cages
  • 18 Hole Keystone Falls Mini Golf
  • 18 Hole Rabbit Hole Mini Golf
  • 4 Basketball courts
  • 2 Volleyball courts
  • Corn hole boards
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Walking paths

Kiddie rides and attractions edit

  • 4X4[5] Monster Trucks
  • C.P. Huntington Train
  • Lil' Leaper
  • Playground

Water park edit

The water park closed in 2020 and has not opened since.

Ride Opened Closed Description Ref(s)
Pool 2020 3 foot deep pool [5]
Three water slides 2020 [5]
Pirate's Cove 2017 Small pirate ship with water cannons and palm trees [5]
Treehouse Activity Pool 2019 2020 Treehouse-themed pool with fountains

Former roller coasters edit

Like any amusement park that has been open for many years, some of Lakemont Park's roller coasters have been removed over the years for various reasons.

Ride Manufacturer Opened Closed Description Ref(s)
Gravity Road Amandus Sink 1894 1897 A switchback railroad-style roller coaster built by Amandus Sink. The ride was torn down in 1897. [6][7][8]
Twister Philadelphia Toboggan Company 1927 1935 A Herbert Schmeck wooden roller coaster named "Twister" from 1927 to 1935. The ride was destroyed in a flood in March of 1936, and was removed a year later.
Toboggan Chance Rides 1991 2016 A portable Toboggan coaster. The ride featured four single cars.
Mad Mouse Allan Herschell Company 1993 2003 A steel spinning coaster. The ride closed in 2003 due to increasing maintenance needs.

Incidents at Lakemont Park edit

  • On July 23, 1959, a twelve-year-old boy named Frank Vestri drowned in the water park swimming pool, despite a life guard being on duty.
  • On September 2, 1991, a seventeen-year-old ride operator named Chris Whitfield was injured by the Little Leaper coaster. He lost his right leg after it was caught between the train and its chain. The accident was featured on the television series Rescue 911 on CBS in 1992.[citation needed]

References edit

  1. ^ "After two summers closed, Lakemont Park reopens with new additions". Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Stephens, Kay (March 7, 2018). "Lakemont to remain closed this year". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "After two summers closed, Lakemont Park reopens with new additions". Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Leap the Dips Roller Coaster". P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Consulting Engineers. December 21, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Lakemont Park and The Island Water Park". Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  6. ^ "Lakemont Park Is 25 Years Old Tomorrow. Popular Resort was Formally Opened on July 4, 1893, by Logan Valley Railway". Altoona Tribune. July 3, 1918. p. 12.
  7. ^ "Plenty of Work Goes on Now at Lakemont Summer Fun Spot". Altoona Mirror. April 14, 1961. p. 16.
  8. ^ "July 4 To Mark 60th Birthday Of County's Lakemont Park". Altoona Tribune. June 29, 1953. p. 12.

External links edit