Located in rural Elysburg Pennsylvania, way off the beaten path (nearly 3 hours from Philadelphia by automobile) in the middle of nowhere, Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family owned and operated amusement park, picnic grove and campground.   Whether Knoebels actually qualifies as a theme park is debatable, as there is no discernible theme.  However, it certain deserves a mention for its roller coasters and other attractions. Its primary claim to fame is the widely known Phoenix, consistently ranked among the top ten wooden roller coasters in the USA.   Described by someone as “the only standup wooden coaster,” this is an accurate description of a coaster which will have you bouncing out of your seat.

The park features over 60 rides, including the lesser known and aptly named Twister, another wooden coaster.    Other attractions include but are by no means limited to a 148-foot drop tower, haunted coal mine, swinging pirate ship, log flume and carousel dating back to 1913.  Deserving of special mention is the newly opened Flying Turns, an exciting bobsled coaster.

This park is very nicely laid out with bridges leading from one section to another.   Dining options are plentiful, ranging from waffle ice cream sandwiches to pierogies to burgers and similar fare.  Lacto-vegetarians can actually get a grilled cheese sandwich (a rare offering at parks) or a plate of mixed veggies.  The park also has a picnic area and adjacent campground.

One of the wonderful things about Knoebels is that admission is free!  So is parking.   Whereas most parks charge a moderate to hefty entry fee, Knoebels charges only by the ride.   Rides range in price from $.075 to $3.00 (scenic sky ride).  As of 2013, the cost of a ride on Phoenix was $2.50 and that is a bargain.

Knoebels is a charming and very affordable place to visit.  5 out of 5 stars.  For more information about Knoebels, visit www.knoebels.com/  First photo courtesy of www.coasterimage.com/

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