New for 2016
Phobia Phear Coaster- New England's first triple-launch roller coaster will send passengers racing forwards and backwards. It will be similar to other triple-launch coasters. Learn more about the ride by checking out my preview of Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Brief Park Intro
One of the most charming traditional amusement parks in the nation, Lake Compounce is a joy. Instead of the high-energy hustle found at larger parks, the Lake has a more laid-back, agreeable rhythm --which harks back to its 19th-century origins. Beyond the nostalgia and beautiful surroundings however, the park has a great assortment of unique rides, including Boulder Dash, one of the world's best wood coasters.
Location and Phone
Bristol (in the center of the state, near Hartford), Connecticut
Reduced rates for children under 52" and seniors over 60. 3 and under are free. Guests arriving after 5 p.m. pay a reduced rate. Group rates are available. Season passes are available. Parking is additional. Special offers may be available online at Lake Compounce's official Website.
I-84 to EXIT 31. North on RT. 229, and follow signs.
- Boulder Dash- World-class wooden coaster.
- Skyride- Gondola ride atop Southington Mountain.
- Thunder Rapids- Raft ride.
- Classic rides, including a lovely carousel and the Wildcat wooden coaster
See the Park
Lake Compounce Photo Gallery
Boulder Dash Roller Coaster Video
Crocodile Cove- Water park is included in admission.
In general, the food is typical park fare -- pricey and not particularly great. There is one major exception, however. Like its sister park, Kennywood, The Potato Patch serves awesome fresh-cut fries. Fried Oreos are a gastronomic curiosity. Among its customer-friendly policies, Lake Compounce offers complimentary soda and other beverages. Guests are free to take as many drinks as they wish from the dispensers located around the park.
New at the Park
New for 2015: Dino Expedition
Animated dinosaurs and a fossil dig are featured in the attraction.
New for 2013: Water park expansion
The water park expanded with new slides and got a new name (Crocodile Cove).
New for 2012: Riptide Racer
The water park opened a four-lane racing slide.
Official Web Site
The oldest continuously operating amusement park in the US, Lake Compounce began in 1846 as a picnic grove. Like many vintage parks, it had fallen on hard times and was in danger of closing for good in the mid-1990s. The park caught the brass ring in 1997 however, when the folks from Kennywood came to its rescue with cash infusions and bold expansion plans.
Now the transformed park sparkles with new rides, new legions of fans, and a new lease on life. There is a palpable sense of nostalgia that the new owners take care to preserve, but Lake Compounce is also very much in tune with contemporary park sensibilities.
The park is in synch with its lovely setting and loaded with charm. It features many unique rides tied to its lake and the mountain that surrounds three sides of the park. The Mark Twain sternwheeler plies the lake, while a 1911 electric trolley shuttles guests aside the lake to the base of Southington Mountain. There, guests can board the Skyride's gondola cars for a leisurely ride over 700 feet up to the summit of the mountain for breathtaking views of the park and the surrounding Connecticut Valley.
The Thunder Rapids river raft ride also incorporates the park's beautiful natural surroundings.
Boulder Dash, introduced in 2000, is the first coaster to be built on the side of a mountain. The terrain coaster is exhilarating, and highly regarded among ride fans. Read a review of Boulder Dash
Other coasters include the Zoomerang, an off-the-shelf, boomerang shuttle ride and Wildcat, a vintage 1927 wooden coaster. Depending on the level of care and attention Lake Compounce gives the old coaster in a given season, Wildcat can give an extremely rough ride.
The park's Ghost Hunt is a clever, interactive dark ride. Using laser guns, guests shoot targets to score points and trigger special effects.
Lake Compounce's water park, Crocodile Cove, has grown considerably through the years and now occupies a large amount of real estate. Instead of the typical palm trees, the water park's signature lighthouse is more attuned to New England. For an interesting twist, two of the water park's slides empty into the lake. Guests can also lounge on a sandy beach and swim in the lake. The water park is included with admission to Lake Compounce.