If you live in North Georgia (or South Tennessee), Lake Winnepesauka (Lake Winnie) is a long standing tradition. This year Lake Winnie has opened for it's 87th season. Lake Winnie gets its name from a Native American word meaning "bountiful waters" or "beautiful lake of the highands". Located in Rossville, GA, it was opened in 1925 by Carl and Minette Dixon. It is still operated by their descendants today.
Lake Winnie is NOT one of those cookie-cutter amusement parks run by chains all over America. Lake Winnie is the real deal. It is what amusement parks used to be. Parking is free and an all-day arm band costs $26. However, local McDonalds give out coupons for $5 off the armbamd price if you go on Wednesdays. And get this: on Thursdays you get $5 off if you bring a Sunbeam bread bag (no kidding)! My advice- come on a weekday morning- no crowds and short wait lines.
View from the Ferris Wheel
Lake Winnie isn't as big as the famous parks, but that is part of the charm. Lake Winnie is a safe place to take your kids. The staff is very friendly.
Everybody I know loves Lake Winnie! My parents came to Lake Winnepesauka when they were dating. My grandparents came here. I've been coming here all my life. My own child loves it as much as I did. For us, a day at Lake Winnie means summer has finally arrived.
You can eat at the concession stands in the park, or carry your own picnic basket and coolers and eat in the shaded picnic area. There is even a small pavilion shaped like a birthday cake (complete with candles) that can be reserved for parties.
Some of the rides have been there since the park began. The Merry Go Round was built in 1916, the boat chute in the 1920's. The coolest ride of all (to me) will always be the Cannon Ball. It is a real wooden roller coaster, built in 1967. (One night, a few years back, I was watching a television show about wooden coasters and there it was on national TV- The Cannon Ball!) It's like watching TV and seeing an old friend. Ha! Not only are there rides, there is also a mini-golf course, a playground, a water play area (bring a change of clothes) and a concert area.
Today, I let my daughter be the boss. She chose the rides and I tagged along. She had the time of her life! She giggled and laughed and made me feel young again. She even drug me on the Pipeline Plunge- a 5 story flume ride. I am terrified of heights and very claustrophobic. If that doesn't prove my love for that kid, I don't know what does. I nearly froze in terror before I reached the top of the stairway. Then I realized that my only choice was to walk back down (NO WAY) or ride through that tunnel. I took the tunnel. NEVER AGAIN!
View from the Touring Train
If you are looking for a day of old-fashioned fun that won't break the bank. I'd highly recommend Lake Winnie. Your kids will love it.
Would I visit again? You bet- every year until I'm too old to make the trip!
See you at Lake Winnie!
For more info, visit www.lakewinnie.com