TPJThemeParkJames

Camden Park

Huntington, West Virginia, USA

One of the last remaining Trolley Parks in the USA, Camden Park hosts a collection of vintage rides and a scattering of more modern attractions, headlined by Big Dipper, a 1958 National Amusement Devices traditional wooden rollercoaster.

Opened1903
SeasonMarch to October
OwnerBoylin family
Websitewww.camdenpark.com
Nearby Kings Island (149 miles)
Kentucky Kingdom (193 miles)
Holiday World (265 miles)
The park is past its best ... fancy a ride on the Ig Dipper?

The park is past its best ... fancy a ride on the Ig Dipper?

Camden Park is an amusement park on a small piece of land between US-60 and the Ohio River in Huntington, West Virginia. It is one of the few remaining Trolley Parks in the United States - parks which were built at the end of streetcar lines (or at interchanges as in the case of Camden Park) to encourage people to travel at the weekend.

The Camden Interstate Railway Company opened a picnic spot on the site in 1902, but the park sees 1903 as the official founding date as the first ride - a carousel - did not arrive until the following year.

Today, Camden Park's rides include Big Dipper, a National Amusement Devices wooden rollercoaster from 1958; Lil' Dipper, a kiddie woodie also from National Amusement Devices; and Hawnted House, one of only two Pretzel haunted house style dark rides operating in the USA - the other is Devil's Den at Conneaut Lake Park in Pennsylvania.

Many traditional amusement parks have fallen on hard times in recent years, with lots of them being lost and replaced by housing developments, offices or retail stores. Others are still clinging on, lovingly cared for by owners and staff with very small financial resources. Unfortunately, Camden Park doesn't feel very cared for. When I visited in 2016 it felt dirty and rundown, with things that could easily be fixed without any money being spent just left undone. The "B" of the Big Dipper ride sign had fallen off, for example, enticing riders to the much less inviting sounding Ig Dipper rollercoaster. Some might call this classic Americana, but I call it laziness.

Camden Park is a disappointment. With a little time and attention, it could be a lovely park, but at the moment it is a big let down.

Attractions

Lil' Dipper

Lil' Dipper

Small family wooden rollercoaster

Skyliner

Skyliner

Chairlift across the park

Miniature Train

Miniature Train

Slow train ride around Camden Park's lake

Paratrooper

Paratrooper

Flying spin ride

Rattler

Rattler

Swinging spinning ride

The Whip

The Whip

Classic American Whip ride

West Virginia Adventure Golf

West Virginia Adventure Golf

18 hole miniature golf course

Videos

USA Road Trip 2016: Day 11 at Camden Park