May 03, 2016
The season for adrenaline-filled amusement park visits has arrived, and while there are plenty of options throughout the region, families may want to plan a road trip to Elysburg, Northumberland County, this year to experience the classic atmosphere at Knoebels, whose full history stretches back to 1775.
In its current form, Knoebels is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a designation from the National Amusement Park Historical Association as America's "Favorite Traditional Amusement Park" and "Best Family Park," according to PennLive.
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The rankings, determined by experienced association members based in Illinois, are the result of dozens of trips to amusement parks around the country. Knoebels, located about 70 miles north of Harrisburg, is an free-admission park that sells ticket books. It previously has received the "Favorite Park" award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2010, trading places in the other years with Pittsburgh's Kennywood.
Association members also ranked the Phoenix, one of Knoebels' longstanding featured coasters, as the best wooden roller coaster in the United States. The video below shows a point-of-view perspective of the two-minute thrill ride, which debuted in Pennsylvania in 1985 and tops out at 45 mph.
Visitors looking for something a little more low-key can also try out a full range of kiddie rides, family rides, mini golf and arcade games. Additional attractions include a bald eagle habitat, a carousel and mining museum, and a family game that combines Skee-Ball and bingo.
Earlier this year, in a competition juried by the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association, the WVIA-PBS documentary "Knoebels" won an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Outstanding Television Documentary in the 2016 Documentary Television Program category. Below is a trailer for the documentary. More information on planning a visit to Knoebels can be found here.