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Waldameer Park's Ravine Flyer II
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).
Satellite View: The Ravine Flyer II
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"
120 ft, 105 ft, 60 ft
up to 60 mph
Maximum Vertical Angle
60 degrees 1st drop
Extreme Track Banking
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:
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:
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.
Home of the Ravine Flyer II
What is your favorite amusement park and roller coaster? Leave a comment and let me know.