I was just thinking about Chippawa Lake and all the fun I had as a kid ( I am now 44), and was trying to remember - I thought they had a hotel (might have just been the ballroom) but it had a lot of steps leading up into it (on top of this small hill) and rocking chairs out front overlooking the park as I remember - regardless it seemed like a place I would enjoy sitting and reminiscing and a great place to take my young son.
Typed in the name on internet and saw headings of how the Ballroom burned down, and how the park was closed and unsalvageable. What a loss. I am sure someone would have invested in it sooner or later.
It was a nice small family park - just remember running loose with cousins, sitting under shade trees eating junk food, riding rides all day, Playing competition games (races, etc.) with other families from company outings in the one section that had like a football field in front of this large stage with an Indian Head painted on it - It would have been nice to revisit and share those kind of times with my son.
I was in the park about a month and a half ago and had a great time. I got great pictures of all the coasters, the bug, the burned down ballroom, the train car, and a few others. If I get around to it, maybe this weekend I will post my pics online.
Also as a side note, don't try to climb the lifthill on the main coaster in the winter. Wait until the summer when the wood is less moist and less likely to cave in when you are climbing it making you fall 5ft ontop of the lift motor. Not that it didn't happen to me. ;)
This was my first time in the park in the winter, there was no snow on the ground and all the leaves were off the trees. It was the first time that I actually saw the Bug becuase last time it was covered by all of the trees.
This was also my first time in the park in the last two years, a few random notes, all of the break leavers are now gone from the coaster and the cages from the swinging cages have been taken down as well.
I visited the site a few years back and was amazed. I can only imagine how awesome this little park was back in the day.
I don't know much about the park other than what I have found on the internet. It's great to finally hear some REAL life memories of the park.
Speaking of the site, there are a lot of things to see but unfortunately the place is probably very OFF limits by now, due to vandalism and of course the fires. I visted about 2 years ago and the place was trashed, obviously from parties and arson. There were also signs of bonfires.
I guess it would be a cool (haunted) place to visit overnight if the proper tours were organized. :-D
I love visiting ghost parks (with permission of course) and this is one of my faves!
Oops! Dan beat me too it. :-) Glad to hear you were able to see the site! Can't wait to see your pics! I have pictures as well.
I didn't have time to see the caboose or the kiddie or steel coaster. Next time. :-D
*** Edited 1/30/2004 9:50:57 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
I only had the chance to visit Chippewa Lake once while the park was open. I've been there plenty of times in the last few years to photograph the remains and it's sad. I remember riding the coaster almost all day with my friends. It was a fun ride and I never got back to the park again before it closed. They lost a lot of the main structures inside the park due to fires and vandalism over the last several years. I think the Hotel was one of the first structures to go, or maybe it was the bathhouse. Depressing!!!
 Thanks for posting those pictures Tina. Awesome job with the camera on a sore open wound for me.
Wood - anything else is an imitation *** Edited 1/30/2004 10:23:55 PM UTC by Thrillerman***
Wow - great pictures - those shots brought back some memories - we used to try to set as we called them world records on the amount of times we could ride the coster in the day.
Went once a year with family and cousins for about 5 yrs way back when. You would plan your ride strategy for the whole year.
Any shots of the other parts of the park - reading other posts like the swinging cages (I believe were yellow) gave me goose bumps - I also remember the water area where there were paddle boats, etc. right outside the pavilion where everyone would eat their picknick lunches.
One of the last times I was inside the park, a bunch of us jumped into a car from one of the trains sitting in the tunnel. We pushed the car down the track a few feet (it was difficult) and then proudly laughed about how we were the last people to ever ride the coaster!
Your best bet for more information would be this Yahoo Group. There are a lot of knowledgable people on there, many of whom lived in the area when the park was thriving. I've been to CLP three times a few years ago, before the ballroom burned. It's incredible to visit, but I would not recommend climbing on anything. Many of the structures are dangerously dilapidated. Some day I'll find the time to scan my pictures.
This park looks like it was just abandoned. Not in the normal way, but like some said "Run, don't bother taking anything for scrap, just get out quick. And don't forget to tip over tables and break stuff on your way out!"
-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day)
-Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
Technically you are trespassing if you go on the grounds. There is a woman who wrote a book about the park that lived in a small cottage just north of the ballroom right next to the park. She used to host a picnic for regional enthusiasts in late summer back in the early '90s. I think her name is Cheryl Kreynek(sp?). There were trip wires at the time strung between buildings to discourage/prevent trespassing. That has to be a liability for whoever owns the property now.
There is a small trailer style park just south of the entrance and you can drive back and see more of the coaster. There is a wet marsh you have to cross to get back to the coaster. All the dogs in the area will start barking though announcing your arrival.
Her name is Sharon Kraynek and she has *two* books on Chip! The first one is out of print and difficult to find but the second one should be available - It just came out in November! See here for details.
I go to this park regularly. Two years ago I went with my dad. He frequented the park when he was young, and he was unaware that there are still remnants of the park standing. We walked the coaster track, the Wild Mouse track, my dad also got into the swinging gyms, and operated them. They were his favorite ride as a kid. Listening to him tell stories of the park's operating days was fascinating. It was in the middle of the summer, and everything was covered, so everytime we came across something, he would reminisce. We also got extensive video of the ballroom which is priceless now because of the arson.
Also, I noticed you guys talking about the two books Sharon Kraynek wrote, and you can find the most recent in the bookstore on Medina Square.
First of all, there is NO trailer park in Chippewa. I live less than a half mile from the park. Those small homes are winterized cottages that were rented for summer use. Secondly, Sharon Kraynek has been writing books about the park since "Chippewa Lake Park: A Diary of an Amusement Park" in the late '80's. Since then she has written three other books about the park, the third only covering the late 1800's, as it is a series that will span Chippewa's whole life span. Most of her books are only newspaper articles that are linked together, and lack any real nostalgic information. The gentleman who wrote books about Summit Beach Park and Cedar Point used to work at Chippewa, I wish that he would write a more comprehensive book about Chipp.