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Amusement Parks: Knoebels Amusement Resort – a Potted History

Related: Sesame Place / Gillian’s Wonderland Pier / Delgrosso’s Amusement Park / Conneaut Lake Park

Knoebels Amusement Resort is an amusement park, picnic place and campground located in a small, wooded valley in Elysburg, which is in central Pennsylvania.

The amusement park has been open since 1926 and is owned and operated by the Knoebel family who also run a lumber yard next door. The valley, in which the amusement park lies, was originally called Peggy’s Farm which became a very popular picnic place and swimming hole in the early part of the 20th century. During this period, Henry Knoebel was responsible for tending the farmland in this area and also looked after the horses of the hayride wagon owners which were increasingly drawn to the area. He subsequently went on to sell ice cream and soft drinks to visitors and as the popularity of the area – which became known as ‘Knoebels Grove’ – grew, he began to lease plots of land for use as sites for summer cottages.

In 1926, Knoebel transformed the original swimming hole into a swimming pool and also added a restaurant and so began the idea of creating an amusement park.

Since those early beginnings, the amusement park has continued to grow and today, it has over 50 rides. Both young and not-so-young are catered for. Kiddie rides at the amusement park include Kiddie Whip, Cub Cars, Helicopters and Frog Hopper whilst thrill seekers will enjoy Twister, Cosmotron, Looper and the Phoenix Roller Coaster. In fact, the amusement park has won many industry awards, as has its rides. 

If you’re looking to cool off at the amusement park, its Crystal Pool features 5 waterslides. In addition to the rides, there are a number of other attractions to enjoy including the XD Theatre, Lazer Runner and the Shooting Gallery. For golf enthusiasts, there is not only an 18-hole miniature golf course at the amusement park but a full scale 18 hole golf course too. There are also 3 small museums to enjoy and the amusement park’s Bald Eagle Habitat gives you the opportunity to see and learn all about this magnificent bird of prey.


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