Hold on tight folks, ‘cause this is the wildest ride in the wilderness … and one guaranteed to leave you soaked as you float through the turbulent waters and over the edge in your log boat…
|Theme Park||Thorpe Park|
|Park Area||Canada Creek|
|Audience||Older Families and Thrillseekeers|
20 February 2019 (officially closed)
|Max Speed||20 mph|
|Capacity||1200 riders per hour|
Loggers Leap was one of Thorpe Park’s classic rides, originally opened by TV icon Timmy Mallet in 1989 as part of the park’s Canada Creek area. For most of its life it was the tallest log flume in the UK, a title which was stolen temporarily by American Adventure’s Nightmare Niagara.
The ride was themed around an adventure through a rocky Canadian landscape featuring various mining and logging activities. Country music played in the ride station, including classics like Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and Rednex’s Cotton Eyed Joe, which really added to the atmosphere.
Riders would encounter two drops as their logs floated along, the first being in complete darkness after the boat entered a pitch-black tunnel. Unfortunately the tunnel was removed in the ride’s last couple years of operation – rumours suggest it had become structurally dodgy.
The main 50ft drop acted as a spectacular finale and featured a double dip which would often have riders floating out of their seats and feeling like the log was flying through the air uncontrollably.
The logs would create a fairly large splash at the bottom, certainly enough to give riders a sprinkling and sometimes quite a drenching. Depending on the weight of the boat, a wave of water would occasionally come up over the front of the log and dump itself in the lap of the unlucky front seat occupant.
Princess Diana was famously photographed riding Loggers Leap with Princes William and Harry in the early 1990s, and after her death in 1997 Thorpe added a small memorial stone and plaque to her outside the ride.
Loggers Leap closed at the end of the 2015 season, although it was not until February 2019 that Thorpe Park finally announced its permanent closure, having previously insisted for several years that they hoped to have it back operating again.
Loggers Leap's famous final double drop
The ride was a firm favourite with parkgoers
The ride entrance
A boat leaves the station
Beginning the journey
Logs disappeared out of view into the woodland
Log boats floated down the water channel
Into mining country
The boats passed over the lake
Beginning the long journey to the top of the main drop
The main drop
Splashing down at the bottom of the drop
A definite feel-good ride
Riders recover after their rapid descent
A final soaking awaits, courtesy of water guns operated by people watching the ride
Some people tried to duck out of the way ...
... and others embraced it!
Log boats return to the station
Theming, with the drop behind
The station in the days before the Fastrack shelter was added
Saw: The Ride under construction behind the Loggers Leap station
A log could hold up to five people
The ride was massively popular on sunny days
A full Loggers Leap queueline
There was a strict rule that riders must take all belongings with them, leading to some unusual sights!
An empty Loggers Leap
Loggers Leap very early in the 2004 season
The ride was Standing But Not Operating after the end of 2015 season
A Thorpe Park classic, much missed by those who rode it