|Slogan||"Come On, Get Happy!"|
|Location||Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States|
|Operating season||April - December|
Lake Winnepesaukah (nicknamed Lake Winnie) is an amusement park located on Lakeview Drive in Lakeview, Georgia (mailing address Rossville, Georgia) near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The park takes its name from New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee. Carl and Minette Dixon opened the park to guests in 1925. The park is currently run by their granddaughter, Adrienne Rhodes, and her family.
The first ride at Lake Winnepesaukah – and still one of the most popular at the park – was the Boat Chute, which opened in 1927. According to the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA), it is the oldest Mill Chute attraction still in operation in the United States.
The Cannon Ball is a wooden roller coaster designed by famous roller coaster designer John Allen and Philadelphia Toboggan Company specifically for Lake Winnepesaukah. The roller coaster was built in 1967, is 2,272 feet (693 m) long, and has a vertical drop of 70 feet (21 m). The ride lasts 90 seconds and has a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Signifying the park's location adjacent to the Georgia-Tennessee state line, the American, Georgia, and Tennessee flags are at the top of the lift hill.
The oldest ride at the park is the Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel number 39, manufactured in 1916. Among the oldest and largest in the country, the carousel includes 68 hand-painted steeds.
The OH-ZONE! is a 140 feet (43 m), 14-story tall tower ride in which seated riders experience free-fall followed by a 4.6G deceleration upon return to ground level. The 2006 installation of the ride required the Fly-O-Plane to be relocated to another section of the park adjacent to the Cannon Ball roller coaster.
Riders board a two-person raft and slide down curving water filled tubes in the Pipeline Plunge.
Intended primarily for children, the Wacky Worm is a metal roller coaster with a ride vehicle resembling a smiling green worm. The ride has a maximum height of less than 20 feet (6.1 m) and consists of several turns and short "bunny hop" hills.
In 2001, Lake Winnie built their third roller coaster as a tribute to one that used to be in the same exact spot. The original roller coaster was named Mad Mouse and the new steel rendition was originally named Wild Thing, but in 2002 was renamed Wild Lightnin'. The "wild mouse" track layout is similar to the original with numerous hairpin 90 degree turns and short, steep drops.
The park also features the only known working Eyerly Fly-O-Plane in the United States. Other attractions include a Ferris wheel, paddle boats, a tour train, and numerous other children and family-oriented rides, including a classic Dumbo ride from which local resident Amie the Magnificent was banned for life. Recently,[when?] the park added a new family-oriented ride called the Wacky Factory in the building where the Castle, an older haunted house-style ride, was originally. Several kiddie rides from the now-defunct Miracle Strip Amusement Park have been relocated to Lake Winnespesaukah, including The Bumble Bees, The Free Whale, and The Wave Swinger. Several rides that were under the metal building in Panama City Beach, Florida were also brought to Lake Winnie in 2005 for its 80th birthday celebration.
Lake Winnepesaukah provides visitors many of the features of a classic American fair in addition to the permanently installed rides. A game midway, food vending, and food service accommodation for large groups is available on the campus. The park also features the "Jukebox Junction," an open air theater used as a free concert music venue, a playground for children with a crew to keep them safe, and a water section to cool off at during hot days. In 2012 a |5|acre water park was announced, scheduled to open the summer of 2013.
On April 19, 2003, a crowd disturbance described as a "near-riot" involving 500 to 700 youths took place outside the park after management decided to close the park 90 minutes early. Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers claimed the incident was caused by parents leaving their children unattended at the park with little or no money, thus unable to participate in the park's activities. When sporadic fighting began in the crowd, the decision was made to close the park early, which escalated the fighting. Law enforcement agencies from Georgia and Tennessee were dispatched to the scene when the crowd began to disrupt traffic on roads surrounding the park. After the incident, the park instituted a new policy of requiring visitors under 21 years of age to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Visitors also will be required to buy some sort of admission.
- "Lake Winnie Amusement Park". Lakewinnie.com. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- Smith, Ellis (October 25, 2012). "Lake Winnepesaukah to invest millions in 5-acre attraction". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- "75: Lake Winnie gets ready for special anniversary". Calhoun Times and Gordon County News (News Publishing Company, Inc.). 12 April 2000. pp. 8C. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Thrill Rides". Lake Winnepesaukah. Retrieved 2 December 2014. broken link
- "Family Rides". Lake Winnepesaukah. Retrieved 2 December 2014. broken link
- Talley Green. "Lake Winnepesaukah Newsletter: March 13, 2006". Archived from the original on April 10, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2006.
- "Kiddie Rides". Lake Winnepesaukah. Retrieved 2 December 2014. broken link
- "Disturbance prompts Lake Winnie to implement tougher policie". catoosanews.com. 2003-03-23. Retrieved 2010-02-07. broken link