Johnstown & Altoona, PA – July 2004 – Curves and Hills

Lakemont Park in Altoona had a low price special for an all day ride ticket, and given that it was next door to the Altoona Curve AA baseball team park, and they too had a home game we made a trip over, but first we made a stop in Johnstown,

Johnstown, Pennsylvania has the misfortune of having been the location for one of the worst natural disasters in American history, having had a flood in 1889 that killed over 2000 people. The flood was a result of a poorly made dam that broke sending water down the narrow valley. Johnstown has had a number of other significant floods over the year as well

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The Johnstown Inclined Plane was built as a means to quick;y evacuate the city in the event of another flood; which it has served that purpose in 1936 and 1977. The Incline Plane is advertised as the worldest steepest vehicular inclined plane, going up a grade of 70 percent.

To fully experience this incline plane, we indeed put our car on it.


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At the bottom of the hill is Point Stadium, a 1926 era park that has survived some of the floods. Ironically, and without plan, I managed to capture a photo of the park in it’s last season before it was torn down and fully rebuilt.

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We eventually arrived at Lakemont and enjoyed our day at the park. With our all day ride pass we rode the classic roller coaster The Skyliner numerous times.

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Lakemont is best known for having the the Leap The Dips, billed as the oldest operating roller coaster in the world, having been built in 1902.  It is the last known example of a side friction figure eight roller coaster in the United States and is recognized by coaster enthusiasts worldwide to be the oldest standing roller coaster in the world.

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Our day ended at the baseball game with the Altoona Curve AA team. The team is named for the famous Horseshoe Curve railway curve in the mountains above Altoona.

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The view of the Skyliner at sunset was fantastic.

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