Camden Park in West Virginia (6/4/05)

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 6, 2005 11:48 PM
It was a nice day. My wife, Beth and I camped at Shawnee State Park in Ohio. We stopped by Portsmouth, Ohio at Burger King on our way to Huntington to get breakfast and what do you know? They put 2 $5 off coupons in the bag. I had a coffee in the car and Beth grabbed it to take a drink. I asked “ever heard of askin’?” She looked up and said, “I thought we were in Portsmouth”.

We pulled into the Camden Park parking lot that was fairly small but already half full. I excitedly rushed to the ticket booth to purchase my pass. Beth saw the Sky Diver and said “wow, look at that ferris wheel”. Apparently it was the first Sky Diver she’d ever seen. Neither of us was brave enough to ride the Sky Diver. We both noticed that the park was quite small in size.

I had a glance at the Big Dipper then went ahead and rode the Haunted House ride. It was fun and the layout is just like Devil's Den at Conneaut Lake Park.

Next I went over to the Big Dipper. I was anxious to ride a new woodie. This is a fun ride with a couple of moments of nice airtime. The front and back seat rides are quite different. Going over the main drop from the backseat nearly made Beth and I stand up. I had told Beth that the park had a big coaster and a little coaster so after the ride on the Big Dipper Beth said "all right, now let's go ride the big coaster". I had to explain to her that we just rode the big coaster.

We worked our way to the little coaster and it is not bad for a little wooden tracked, steel structured coaster. It is the smallest wooden coaster I've ever seen. When did this ride get a steel structure anyway? I always thought that the Hoosier Hurricane was the first wooden coaster with a steel structure. The Little Dipper needs retracked but still rode well because of the slow speed of the ride.

The park had a flying ride where you laid down on your stomach while the ride went around in circles. This was the most uncomfortable flat ride I have ever ridden and not much fun.

I love small parks with one good woodie because I can really get into that one ride. I just don't have the same intimate experience at larger parks.

I rode the Big Dipper 11 more times along with many of the flat rides throughout the day. The ride ops were friendly and the pizza was not that great.

Beth and I had a great time.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 1:03 AM
I grew up in Huntington, and I visited this park many time each year growing up. I left WV 16 years ago when I was 16, and haven't been able to get back to Camden Park since.

I may get to go next month when I visit family. Maybe some of the little cousins would like to go, and that would give me a good excuse to go.

I miss that park a lot. I shared a lot of good times there with my friends and family.

The one thing I WISH TO GOD I could remember about the park is the layout of the Haunted House after the drop. It's been bugging me for freekin 16 years. I remember that when the ride exited the building, the ride opp would stop it by hand.

Does BD still have the siren that warns the ride ops that the second train is approaching the station? What about the old style break levers?

LD has always had the steel structure, as far as I can remember. It disappeared for a few years when I was a teen, but I can't remember why.

Do they still sell "Pronto Pups" (corn dogs)? What about that freshly-made-right-after-you-payed-for-it-hot Cotton Candy. YUMYUM!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 1:10 AM
I'm planning on going down to Camden on Friday night. I haven't been since 2002. The back seat of the Dipper wasn't roped off? I remember it had killer air back there, but it had been roped off the last few times I went.

Nice trip report!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 1:15 AM
Dexter, when I was there last the corn dogs were still called "Pronto Pups."

After the first drop on the Haunted House you go up a little hill and then there is a right turn. Following that you go straight and then make a hairpin turn to the right like on a wild mouse. The rest of the ride is just hair pin turns that gradually decrease elevation until you back to the same level as the station.

I'm not sure about the siren on the Big Dipper, but it does still have hand-lever operated brakes.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 2:24 AM
Thanks TopGun, I am so very happy to hear a discription of Haunted House's layout. I have asked a few times here on CB and no one has ever been able to tell me. Thank You! :)
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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 11:57 AM
I really need to get to Camden. It is such a shame, lived in WV for 24 years, only been once, and don't remember if I got the Little Dipper credit, but know I haven't had the Big Dipper credit. I will go to Camden this year!
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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 5:52 PM
Here are some pictures of the park that I took
http://photobucket.com/albums/a177/mmiddleton87/

I forgot to post them earlier.

The backseat of the Big Dipper was not roped off. Maybe the backseat was broke last time you went Topgun. They seemed like nice trains.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 6:41 PM
Excellent news. I remember them being roped off at least two consecutive summers in a row, it might have been broken. Maybe they've done a little work on the trains.

Excellent photographs!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2005 12:39 PM
Since the Thunderbolt Express was removed, are the footers still there or are they gone as well?

That was a great album of picts, I saw almost everything I wanted to see.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2005 1:03 PM
The footers look as though they are still there. I've actually got a picture of the area where the ride used to be.
http://photobucket.com/albums/a177/mmiddleton87/IMAG0053.jpg *** Edited 6/8/2005 5:06:02 PM UTC by Wabash Cannonball***
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Wednesday, June 8, 2005 1:06 PM
The footers look as though they are still there. I've actually got a picture of the area where the ride used to be.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a177/mmiddleton87/IMAG0053.jpg *** Edited 6/8/2005 6:06:07 PM UTC by Wabash Cannonball***
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Thursday, June 9, 2005 5:45 PM

dexter said:
I grew up in Huntington, and I visited this park many time each year growing up. I left WV 16 years ago when I was 16, and haven't been able to get back to Camden Park since.

I may get to go next month when I visit family. Maybe some of the little cousins would like to go, and that would give me a good excuse to go.

I miss that park a lot. I shared a lot of good times there with my friends and family.

The one thing I WISH TO GOD I could remember about the park is the layout of the Haunted House after the drop. It's been bugging me for freekin 16 years. I remember that when the ride exited the building, the ride opp would stop it by hand.

Does BD still have the siren that warns the ride ops that the second train is approaching the station? What about the old style break levers?

LD has always had the steel structure, as far as I can remember. It disappeared for a few years when I was a teen, but I can't remember why.

Do they still sell "Pronto Pups" (corn dogs)? What about that freshly-made-right-after-you-payed-for-it-hot Cotton Candy. YUMYUM!


Yes, they still sell the Pronto Pups (and the Cotton Candy although I don't eat sweets..lol) I just wonder if they still have the "floating" burgers in the cafeteria. ;-)

Little Dipper has always had a steel structure as far as I can remember and I don't recall the Big Dipper having a siren the last time I was there about a month ago. They were also running one train. Gotta love it, though......no seat belts, no seat dividers.....the way woodies were MEANT to be. ;-)

The park is looking AWESOME, more than it has in years. The footers for the Tbolt are still there, but I am happy that they removed the Tbolt itself. It has been an eyesore for WAY too long.

Glad you had a great time, Wabash!

Dex, if you visit the park next month let me know. I will meet up with ya if I can!

-Tina

*** Edited 6/9/2005 9:48:15 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Friday, June 10, 2005 10:30 PM
What I meant to say about LD was that the ride dissapeared for a few years, not the ride's steel supports (lol).

Floating Burgers? I'm afraid to ask.

I will get a hold of you, coasterqueenTRN, when I find out the exact day I am going to be there. It will be near the very end of July. I will be "babysetting" a carload of Tweens at Camden, to get them out of all of the "Adults" hair when they set up for my Cousin's wedding.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005 1:52 AM
I passed up my first and possibly only chance to visit Camden Park on June 6th. I was planning on visiting the park since I was in southern (real southern Ohio, only 20 miles north of Huntington) for a 3 day bluegrass festival.

Unfortunately I hit a deer, actually a deer ran into my truck, on the winding back country roads. Needless to say I was not in the happiest of moods and spending more money suddenly did not look like the best of ideas as I was still 8 hours from my parents house and over 20 hours to my house. Seeing as I needed to cover those miles in the next few days I drove right by Camden and wondered if I will kick myself in the future for passing it by.

Maybe it was just what I needed to cheer me up, but after a week of the Dells, Little A-Merrick-A, and SFGAm on top of a 3 day music fest, money was starting to become tight.

Glad to hear that others were able to enjoy the park that weekend. If they have the festival again next year maybe it will all work out after all.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005 1:18 PM
This TR has convinced me to reroute my trip for a swing by Camden in two weeks. I'm always excited to visit the smaller independently owned traditional parks. Can't wait!
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Sunday, June 12, 2005 2:40 PM
Floating burgers are just that......burgers floating in vats of greese.

But they are STILL good. It's not as horrific as it sounds. lol.

Camden Park is about 3 hours from SFKK, about 3 hours from PKI/Coney, about 2 1/2 from Columbus and is VERY easily accessible off of I-64, right on the WV/OH/KY borders.

I invite ALL of you to visit (but not at the same time....LOL!)

-Tina

*** Edited 6/12/2005 6:50:16 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Monday, June 13, 2005 3:22 AM
After viewing the pics posted by Wabash Cannonball, I must ask, "Did the parks landscaper recently pass away?"

It seems to me that the park has a lot of potential, and one thing that would help a lot is to hire someone to take care the grounds by planting new grass and flowerbeds. Maybe the guy who cuts the grass can do it.

On the other hand, the park looks a lot like I remember it.

Nice pics, by the way. It took me back to carefree times.

Another complaint about the park that I haven't been to in many years is the price. Wow, almost $20 + $3 for parking. When I was last there, it was only $7.50 for an all day hand stamp. Supply and demand, I guess.

I really am excited to go back after all these years.

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Monday, June 13, 2005 1:23 PM
Dexter, when I was there last Friday night I also noticed the lack of landscaping. There were a few workers cutting grass, but there were very few flowers planted, the large hedge in front of Big Dipper needed trimmed, and all of the trees in the front of the park have been removed.

I think the price has been up above $15 for several years now, but I guess that's just the price to keep the park alive.

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Monday, June 13, 2005 1:59 PM

Wabash Cannonball said:


I always thought that the Hoosier Hurricane was the first wooden coaster with a steel structure.


Nice TR. Glad to hear you had a good time at the park, that's one I've been meaning to get to for years.

Wood coasters have been built with steel structures for years including many at Coney Island in the 1920s. The Great Escape Comet, originally built as the Crystal Beach Cyclone in 1927, also has a steel structure. Hoosier Hurricane was the first of CCI's coasters to use a steel structure because of the way it had to be built over water, rides, midways and buildings.

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Monday, June 13, 2005 11:12 PM
Yes Coasterqueen, I remember seeing the Pronto Pups, the pizza place where I ate and cotton candy. Down toward the train station there was a stall that sold waffle cones and funnel cakes. I don't recall seeing any floating burgers.

Rob, I recall that fact now about CCI. After reading your post I suddenly recalled seeing pics of old side friction coaster with steel structures, like the one that use to be at Boyd's Park in Wabash County, Indiana.

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