Knobels: Trip Report

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Campgrounds around amusement parks tend to be somewhat nightmarish, but the sight on the lake outside of Knobels was quiet and very pleasant. It was a little weird how well behaved all the kids were.

Traffic was a little backed-up around opening, but parking moved quickly especially from the lake side entrance. It is ironic that one of the prettiest amusement parking lot is also one of the few free ones. Since the park is in the middle of no where they could easily charge $10 for parking leaving folks with no other options other than paying the fee. Though they pay many people to direct traffic they don't charge a dime. Its so cool.

Knobels is the largest park offering free admission since Kennywood started charging at the gate. Walking into Knobels is a little disorienting. Since there is no fence surrounding the park and no gate charging an entrance fee it is hard to tell which is the best way to enter the park. There are few main paths directing the flow of public traffic through the park, instead people meander between rides and food stands, which makes it a little difficult to find things.

The fragrance of tasty delights are everywhere. The food is by far the best I have had at any amusement park, definitely a main attraction. Food ranges from waffle cones using real waffles, to chicken fries, to taco pizza. A canopy of trees provides ample shade on old growth picnic tables, one of the best parks to sit and hang out in.

The Phoenix is still one of the best coasters on the planet, and very smooth, even better at night. Twister is a little rougher but still amazing, so many cross-overs, and I love the split lift. One cannot miss the Haunted House. It is such a blend of spooky themes, never sure what to expect. Amazing that an inpendent park put this together, and in a way only an independent park can.

The layout of the log ride is basic, yet perfect. Splash Mountain, Dudley Do-Right’s and Log Jammer at Knotts are the only log rides I have seen that are better than this one. I can’t get enough of Scooters. I don’t understand why more bumper cars don’t follow this example. Simply the best! The Merry-Go_round is a classic, with folks capturing the brass ring in the middle of the woods. So many of the country's best rides are found here. The water park is small yet charming. All things the park chooses to do, it does very well.

Part of the charm of the park is that there is no consistent theme. Lots of latitude given to creative minds at Knobels. I see something I didn’t notice before every time I go. Knobels is so easy going, there are so many things to do and it is evident it is a labor of love for the park owners. It is so easy to hang out at Knobels, very calming, while other parks tend to make people more anxious more time they spend there. Not sure how else to explain it.

Unfortunately I don’t see other parks following Knobels example for it is far too connected to the past and they don’t see a profit in it. For that reason it will remain a one of a kind time-capsule on how family parks used to be. *** Edited 9/27/2005 4:36:34 PM UTC by rc-madness***

Great TR, rc. Don't you know you're supposed to leave a trail of funnel cake so you don't get lost walking around the park?

I can hardly wait for Phoenix rides in the dark.

I did that but I eventually stumbled upon someone else's funnel cake trail.

And then there was this time that I got lost looking for someone's cottage on a cold, rainy and foggy night and eventually found myself driving around inside the park. (that's a true story)

And you wondered why someone had a Power Surge lawn ornament?
I didn't get that far. I did begin to wonder why there was a small carousel and a small steam engine on the side of the highway though.
Sure you weren't riding the tracks for Ol' Smokey?

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