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Waldameer Park's Ravine Flyer II

Updated on February 7, 2018
Source
Ravine Flyer II 165 foot arched bridge over Peninsula Drive (SR 832).  Regulatory approval required the blue mesh covering to decrease the distraction to the drivers on the roadway below.
Ravine Flyer II 165 foot arched bridge over Peninsula Drive (SR 832). Regulatory approval required the blue mesh covering to decrease the distraction to the drivers on the roadway below. | Source

Unique Wooden Roller Coaster in Erie, PA

On May 17, 2008, after years of dreaming and planning by park owner Paul Nelson, the Ravine Flyer II debuted. Mr. Nelson's goal was to replace the original Ravine Flyer that was dismantled in 1938 following a tragic accident. Designed and built by The Gravity Group, the new coaster, a wooden hybrid (wooden track with a steel superstructure), follows the same basic route as the original Ravine Flyer.

Like the original, this coaster is unique in that it crosses a state highway, not once, but twice, during its journey. In addition, the Ravine Flyer II provides great views. Riders enjoy glimpses of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and the beaches of Presque Isle State Park. At 115 feet, it boasts the highest wooden coaster drop in Pennsylvania and the 8th highest in the U.S.

Waldameer, German for "woods by the sea", is a family owned amusement and water park that has been located on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park since 1896. Over 100 years old, it is the 10th oldest amusement park in the country.

In the satellite view below, the light blue "bar" in the middle of the image is the Ravine Flyer II bridge (with its cage) crossing over Peninsula Dr (PA SR 832). To the left of the bridge is Waldameer Park and Water World. To the right of the bridge is the turn around near the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC).

Waldameer Parks' Ravine Flyer II Return Hill (as viewed from TREC).  In the distance, lift hill on left and Lake Erie on right.
Waldameer Parks' Ravine Flyer II Return Hill (as viewed from TREC). In the distance, lift hill on left and Lake Erie on right. | Source

Satellite View: The Ravine Flyer II

A
Waldameer Park:
3100 W Lake Rd, Erie, PA 16505, USA

get directions

Ravine Flyer II coming around a turn
Ravine Flyer II coming around a turn | Source
Ravine Flyer II at the top of the lift hill from the ferris wheel.
Ravine Flyer II at the top of the lift hill from the ferris wheel. | Source
90 Degree banked turn and lift hill, Ravine Flyer II as viewed from the ferris wheel.
90 Degree banked turn and lift hill, Ravine Flyer II as viewed from the ferris wheel. | Source

Ravine Flyer II

There are 2 trains (one red and one blue) of 6 cars each. Each car holds 4 passengers for a maximum of 24 riders on each train. Every rider is secured by both a seat belt and locking bar.

The train glides smoothly out of the station and begins a rather quick assent 80 feet up the lift hill. After a brief pause to enjoy the views at the top, you are yanked from this scenic vista. Plummeting 115 feet down the first drop, banking to the right and into the first tunnel, the train travels below the bluff and reaches speeds approaching 60 miles per hour. Rocketing onto the blue mesh-covered bridge, a broad, flat bunny hill, that travereses the 165 foot wide ravine. Your first "air" occurs on the way to the bluff on the other side. With bone jarring forces, veering right and then turning left, the banked S-turn then swings to the right turning the train around and guiding it up the second highest hill on the ride. The 105 foot drop again propels the train across the bridge for the return trip back across the ravine.

A series of tunnels, turns, (including a 90 degree banked turn), a figure eight, and bunny hops bring you back to the station where you started 90 seconds earlier.

"View from the Top of the Lift Hill"

View of Presque Isle, Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the beaches are fleeting on the lift hill of the Ravine Flyer II so these pictures were taken on the ferris wheel.
View of Presque Isle, Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the beaches are fleeting on the lift hill of the Ravine Flyer II so these pictures were taken on the ferris wheel. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
First drop of the Ravine Flyer II.  Over the bluff, through the tunnel and on to the bridge over the highway.Lift hill and swingsComing off of the bridge on the other side.Top of the hill for the return trip back across the bridge over the highway.
First drop of the Ravine Flyer II.  Over the bluff, through the tunnel and on to the bridge over the highway.
First drop of the Ravine Flyer II. Over the bluff, through the tunnel and on to the bridge over the highway. | Source
Lift hill and swings
Lift hill and swings | Source
Coming off of the bridge on the other side.
Coming off of the bridge on the other side. | Source
Top of the hill for the return trip back across the bridge over the highway.
Top of the hill for the return trip back across the bridge over the highway. | Source
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STATS:

Height
85 feet
Length
2900 feet
3 Drops
120 ft, 105 ft, 60 ft
Speed
up to 60 mph
Duration
1:30
G-Force
3.5
Maximum Vertical Angle
60 degrees 1st drop
Airtime
10 locations
Unique Features:
Extreme Track Banking
6 Tunnels
10 Cross-overs
Cross over a state highway twice
Views of Lake Erie and peninsula

Golden Ticket Awards:

Best New Ride, 2008, Amusement Today Magazine


Top Wooden Roller Coaster Rankings:

  • 2008: #11

    2009: #6

    2010: #6

    2012: #6

Take a Virtual Ride

Can't get to Waldameer? You can still take a "ride" in the Front Seat of the Ravine Flyer II, (click on the link).

This video was shot by davidjellis with the permission of Waldameer Park and uploaded to YouTube.


Rate the Ravine Flyer II:

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Waldameer Park's Raine Flyer II
Source

Waldameer Park and Water World

When you think of roller coasters, you usually think of the big boys, a Busch Gardens, a Six Flags, Kennywood in Pittsburgh or the roller coaster capital, Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.

But, family owned Waldameer Park in Erie, PA can boast the #6 Best Wooden Roller Coaster in the World! The Ravene Flyer II is not a lightening fast, heart stopping, stratospheric high coaster, but it has all of the makings of a classic wooden coaster experience. With awesome views from the top of the lift hill and the excitement of shooting across a ravine over a highway, sometimes, great things are at small amusement parks.

A
Waldameer Park and Water World:
3100 W Lake Rd, Erie, PA 16505, USA

get directions

Home of the Ravine Flyer II

B
Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC):
301 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505, USA

get directions

C
Presque Isle State Park, Erie, PA:
Presque Isle State Park, 1 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505, USA

get directions

What is your favorite amusement park and roller coaster? Leave a comment and let me know.

Comments

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    • Gregory DeVictor profile image

      Gregory DeVictor 

      5 months ago from Squirrel Hill, PA

      Thanks for your article. I’m from Erie and your article brought back some fantastic memories.

    • bankscottage profile imageAUTHOR

      bankscottage 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Cybershelley,, thanks for stopping by commenting and the votes. Most people could go on the Ravine Flyer II. You are locked in so tight it really isn't very intimidating, just a fun ride.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      What a marvellous story, I just wish I had the guts to do a ride on such a large roller coaster. I can dream though! Up, interesting, useful and yes beautiful.

    • bankscottage profile imageAUTHOR

      bankscottage 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      If it was taking the grandkids to Cedar Point in October, have a great time.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      You just gave me a wonderful suggestion. Thank you!

    • bankscottage profile imageAUTHOR

      bankscottage 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Paula, I'm glad my Hub brought back some great memories. As much as I enjoy the Ravine Flyer II, I would like to get back to Ceder Point some day. Waldameer closes after Labor Day, but maybe you could take your grandkids to Cedar Point for their Halloween weekends in October. Thanks for commenting and the votes.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Waldameer!!! I lived in Mill Creek for a little over a year. I really loved Erie, for a lot of reasons. Waldameer is great! My son and his family have gone to Waterworld for a week-end vacation a couple of times and they love it.

      You mentioned Cedar Point (Ohio) too....which I always wanted to take my kids to, but just never did.

      As for the crazy RIDES! Sure, my boys loved them, the bigger, the scarier, the better. I would just sit below covering my eyes. Not for me...Thanks!! UP+++

    • bankscottage profile imageAUTHOR

      bankscottage 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hi Dan. No too much whipping on this ride, just a little jerking and some great air time (but they wouldn't let me keep my camera to take pictures). It is a nostalgic coaster ride with a neat twist, the ride over the highway. The views from the top of the first hill are great, but brief. If you get a chance, check out the link to the YouTube video of a ride in the front seat.

      Thanks for stopping by

    • Outbound Dan profile image

      Dan Human 

      5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      I'm generally not one for amusement park rides - all of my accoutrements fall out of my pockets while whipping wildly through the air.

      Wooden roller coasters are pretty cool though - there is a certain flexible feel to the ride. This one actually looks kind of neat with the passes over the highway and surrounded by trees.

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