We all get our start somewhere when it comes to coasters and parks. Some of us start out small and ride the carousel while some of us are brave and have our first ride on a kiddie coaster. No matter how you started, the ride and the park that you had your first experience at will always be with you. Whether you are a coaster enthusiast or a family oriented rider, this blog will serve all ages and levels. I am going to talk about where I got my start and discuss a park that many do not even know exists but has been going for many years.
I got my amusement park start at Camden Park in Huntington, West Virginia. This small, hometown local park had all of the thrills for a family who was on a tight budget who may not have had what it takes to get to Cedar Point or Kings Island. Camden Park has everything you need for every member of the family. The park is located very close to the Kentucky – West Virginia border and is frequented by many people in the Tri-State area. Let’s take a look at what the park has to offer beginning with the thrill rides.
When you enter Camden Park, one cannot miss the old rickety wooden coaster that sits right on the inside of the entrance. This is a CLASSIC coaster and do not let it fool you with its looks. Big Dipper is an ACE classic and has been operating since 1958. The greatest thing about this classic wood coaster is the trains. The trains are the original Century Flyer trains. One thing you do not see anymore is a train with no lap bar. These have none. The ride is definitely NOT for someone who just wants a smooth ride, but surprisingly enough the ride is great for as old as the coaster is. The coaster is definitely the icon of the park as Thunderbolt Express was closed and removed in 2004.
Two of my favorite flat rides at the park would have to be the Camden Princess and the Flying Scooter. Camden Princess is a skateboard type ride that is perfect for all age groups. This is just the right amount of thrill for a small park. The train is a steam boat that signifies the location right on the river. The Flying Scooter is that ride where you get to control the flight with a wing in front of you. If you are good at this ride, then you can really get an extreme thrill out of this swinging type ride.
Camden Park is also a lot of fun to walk through as trees, lakes, and beautiful flowers are everywhere between the rides. You can ride the train around the park to relax and take in the scenes of the lake and forest. If you are ready for more rides, you can take a ride on the tilt-a-whirl or the kite flyer which is great for all ages. If the children are ready for their first ride on a coaster but do not want to try the Big Dipper, they can go and try the Lil Dipper. The Lil Dipper is a kiddie coaster that has the same idea as its father but smaller. The trains are Century Flyer and are a true delight for kids and their parents alike.
The most popular attraction is the haunted house. The house has been open since the park existed and is the old fashioned house with trains that take you in and out of the house. Kids and parents both can be seen laughing and crying throughout the entire ride. The haunted house is something you cannot miss.
I am in hopes that if you are in the area of Huntington that you will stop in and try out this small park. You may be pleasantly surprised. In part 2 of my blog, I will talk about some of the history of the park and what I used to enjoy doing when I frequented the park. MAY THE QUEUE LINES BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.