Trespassing citations skyrocket at abandoned Geauga Lake

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Bainbridge Township Police are sending out a warning after a spike in trespassing arrests into the hauntingly abandoned Geauga Lake amusement park. Sgt. Frank Chickos said they have cited 46 people so far this year with trespassing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor that can carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail or a $250 fine.

Read more and see video from WEWS/Cleveland.

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Fun's avatar

Oh sure, now people want to visit the park.

janfrederick's avatar

Seriously, they should charge admission, kind of like George Tilyou charging 10 cents to view the aftermath of the fire that burned down the original Steeplechase Park:

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
LostKause's avatar

I bet Pokemon Go isn't going to help either.

Why would you even want to go there? I saw a video from a drone on KICentral. There's nothing to see.

Folks are always interested in abandoned places. I get it to an extent.

Plus you have the butthurt fanboys who still think all you need to do is flip a switch and the place comes back

I don't know. If those fanboys were to actually go there they'd be forced to give up the ghost, wouldn't they? The drone tells half the story, I'm sure.

But if you've never been to an abandoned amusement park, it's an experience. I find them beautiful in their own way, and quite haunting, especially if it's a park I was familiar with. It's eerie to see paths, whatever structures remain, maybe even the skeletons of rides, then try to imagine the place once full of people having fun. I've squeezed through a gate somewhere at least five times, have gotten in trouble twice and almost shot once. And most of those occasions were when I was much, much younger. And thinner.

I think people do it for the thrill of not getting caught and bragging rights. I did it because I like amusement parks and want to see what they're like, not so much because I'm a daredevil. And maybe because they're outdoors it seems safer or less illegal or something.

Another fun (and far safer and less risky) activity is to go to the site of a former amusement park that's been repurposed some kind of way but is legally accessible to the public. I've been to Riverside, Euclid Beach, Olentangy, Indianola, and Minerva. Brooklyn's abandoned parks at Coney Island were awesome to explore back in the 70's, so much of it was just left to rot. But often walkways still exist, and buildings and old foundations can be identified. Or not. And I always come away in some kind of melancholy state, but I still like it. I'd like to go back to Crystal Beach and see what became of it, but I'd probably cry.

And forgive me for borrowing trouble, but I'd loooove to get into Geauga and I don't care how bad it is. But... it seems like now would be a bad time.

And Travis, you beat me to a Pokemon joke.

Last edited by RCMAC,

There are so many people breaking into Geauga Lake these days, security is now selling Fast Arrest passes...

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Jeff's avatar

I do think it would be interesting to see any location up close that I previously had spent a lot of time in, and has since been reclaimed by nature. That's fascinating to me. Last week I was in Alaska, and did the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway out of Skagway. It was a big deal during the gold rush, and second only to the insanely amazing views from 2,888 feet, it was the historic details that made it interesting. You could still see the narrow trail up in the pass that the prospectors used to take. An abandoned steel bridge over one of the canyons is in decay, despite being an engineering marvel in 1901. It's interesting to think of the life that used to occupy these places.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy


BrettV said:
Folks are always interested in abandoned places. I get it to an extent.

Plus you have the butthurt fanboys who still think all you need to do is flip a switch and the place comes back

Are we talking about Geauga Lake or Conneaut Lake?

Dale from Dayton

The butthurt fanboys think all Big Dipper needs is a coat of paint and some minor TLC. After 9 years, that thing could potentially collapse like toothpicks. And that they should hook up some flat rides and the place would suddenly be a booming success. I'm in the unfortunate position of being a huge GL fanboy, but also being a realistic one. I'm still sad about the park and always will be, but I also understand business and realism. And the crazy ones make us fans of the old park look bad.

I too would be interested to see the place in person and have enjoyed the drone footage we have seen in the last couple of years. Seeing nature reclaim what man has built is a natural human fascination.

It also surprises me that here we are nearly nine years later and the place is still an abandoned lot and Big Dipper is still standing. I still believe (and you can flame me all you want) that Cedar Fair would have been better to take the PR hit and just level Big Dipper when they scrapped Villain and Double Loop and all the other park structures. The property would not nearly be the liability it is now, and the folks in Northeast Ohio who would have been temporarily angry about it would have long forgotten by now. I love Big Dipper to death and it was my first roller coaster. But the day the park closed, there was never a feasible way for it to run again, and I don't see what good it has done Cedar Fair to leave it standing.

Come to think of it, I do remember when I was younger, going through some old, abandoned houses, so I must have found it fascinating at one time.

On another note, are we sure the trespassers weren't some meddling kids and their dog? :-)

bjames's avatar

LostKause said:

I bet Pokemon Go isn't going to help either.

You couldn't find many pokemon there, the pokemon spawn based on the density of cell phone signals in a given area.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

I often wonder if at this point it would be better to just level Dipper. It will be sad and I would love to ride it again but I don't see any situation realistically developing where that would be an option. It's just a sad thing to look at. I got some decent pictures of it last time I was at WWK and a few last looks from the road and so now it just seems like time for closure. Just treat it like a band aid and get it over with I guess. On another note as much as my kids love WWK my attention span for water parks isn't very long so despite being about equal distance between WWK and Soak City SC wins because if I'm going to drive an hour to get somewhere I don't want guaranteed boredom in less than 3 hours.

I can't see how much, if anything, of Dipper would be remotely salvageable by now.

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GooDFeLLoW's avatar

They have some awesome scenes in the movie "Hanna" at an abandoned theme park in Germany that used to be called "Spreepark." After seeing that, I definitely see the draw of going to an abandoned theme park.

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