Boulder Dash has been consistently ranked among the top ten wooden coasters in the USA since its opening in May of 2000 so I was very much looking forward to riding it.  Built into the side of a mountain and surrounded by trees and boulders, this coaster takes the riders on a wild ride through the woods.  It has two trains although only one was operating at the times that I rode because the ride queue was not long enough to warrant adding a second train.  From the loading station, the train veers slightly to the right before ascending the lift hill and disappearing from view.  Once at the top, it does not drop immediately but rather goes around a short bend.  Then comes the moment everyone has been waiting for.  With a sudden burst of speed, the train drops 115 feet sharply to the right and goes up into the next hill.  From that point it never lets up and there’s never a dull moment.

The train passes the loading station in the other direction and takes the riders through one airtime hill after another, on a 4,672-foot track with tree branches overhanging the track.  The ejector airtime is so extreme that I had to brace myself with my feet and got tossed from side to side even with a lap bar and seat belt; when riding in the back, I crashed into my seat mate more than once.  Although the maximum speed is 60mph, it feels a lot faster, partly because of the relentless pace and partly because of the track’s layout.  Towards the end of the ride, I counted four small airtime-filled drops in a row – and that’s before the final airtime hill.  (These were somewhat similar to the dips on Phoenix at Knoebels.)

This coaster is so good that I could have ridden it all day.   The ride experience is truly awesome.  Also worth mentioning is that the ride ops on the day of my visit were outstanding, not only in operating the coaster efficiently but in interacting with riders to the extent of asking for a round of applause for first-time riders and people celebrating birthdays.  Boulder Dash might not be the biggest or most imposing wooden coaster in existence, but it is unquestionably one of the very best.  5 out of 5 stars.  For more information about rides at Lake Compounce, visit www.lakecompounce.com

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