The World's Oldest Roller Coaster Happens To Be In This Eastern State And It's A Historic Thrill

Roller coasters are a delightful thrill that have only gotten bigger and faster over the years. Different parks offer different roller coaster experiences: Some satisfy a need for speed, while others go for the exhilarating twists, turns, and loops that make for thrilling roller coasters. One park, however, offers not the fastest nor most intense roller coaster, but rather one that's historic — in fact, it's the oldest working roller coaster in the world. The Leap the Dips coaster in Altoona, Pennsylvania was built in 1902 and has been bringing people thrills and enjoyment ever since.

Lakemont Park is home to Leap the Dips, along with a handful of other attractions, two of which are roller coasters. While small and quaint, the park is great for families and history buffs alike. If you're okay with forgoing the fastest roller coasters and prefer a more relaxed ride and environment, then a trip to Lakemont Park could be the ideal plan for you.

Leap the Dips is a landmark

Leap the Dips earned national recognition from the American Coaster Enthusiasts in 2002 when it became an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark. The wooden roller coaster doesn't compare to modern roller coasters — not even Lakemont Park's Skyliner — but its history gives it a strong reputation and a sweet taste of the past. "If you love coasters, Leap the Dips and Skyliner are not thrilling," a reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor, "however, riding the world's oldest coaster ... is unlike any other coaster experience." 

Leap the Dips isn't the only coaster option at the park. You can ride the Skyliner Roller Coaster, which was built in 1987 and has more speed than any other ride at the park, going up to 40 miles per hour while Leap the Dips only goes up to 12 miles per hour. There's also a thrill ride for the young ones: the Lil' Leaper Kiddie Coaster is for children under age 12 and taller than 42 inches. The park also has other attractions, so no matter what ages you travel with, everyone will have something fun in store for them. 

Food, admissions, and more fun activities

In addition to roller coasters, you can also play mini golf, take a swing in the batting cage, glide across water on a paddle boat, zoom around the track in a go-cart, and more. You can pay for individual experiences, such as mini golf only or one ride on any of the roller coasters, or you can purchase a day pass that gives you access to everything except the batting cages. Day passes are $19.95 for the full day and $15.95 if you come after 5 p.m. Check out the Lakemont Park website to see the most updated hours and schedule.

While you're at the park, you can also grab a meal or a treat. Dippy's Sweet and Salty offers meals of burgers and fries and other classic American fare, Motorway Cool-Off is the perfect pitstop for a snack, and Rabbit Hole Refreshments is just the place for somethings sweet. Besides, what's better than a cone of ice cream on a hot day? Next time you're looking to enjoy an afternoon at an amusement park, consider hopping on the world's oldest operating roller coaster and enjoying all the other activities at the historic Lakemont Park.