Sunday, September 20, 2009
JIMINY PEAK in SEPTEMBER
I’m a kid at heart, so when I found out that there was a place nearby where I could ride a roller coaster down a mountain, I was overjoyed.
JIMINY PEAK MOUNTAIN PARK is generally known as a WINTER/SNOW destination, but in the Summer and Fall, this park is a really fun place to be!
I drove the Wondercar up scenic Route 43, which is just down the street a few miles from the 1896 House (off Route 7 south).
The mountain’s ski paths are clearly visible from the street.
Well marked and immediately you see signs everywhere telling you where stuff is and where you'd better not park.
To the right, a COUNTRY STORE. Go in there first.
There is a map of the park in the entrance of the store. I had a hard time figuring out where the park itself was when I first drove in, so this map was helpful to get my bearings.
The store was jammed full of fun tourist items, novelty mugs and T-Shirts with goofy sayings about being old and stuff like “Got Wind?”
The usual fridge magnets, postcards, keychains and moose items in abundance.
There is a surprising assortment of good (and bad) wines, beer, and even booze! Fairly priced too.
I saw a kid playing with some of the toys they had for sale, and noted the tempting freshly roasted coffee beans in a bunch of bins, ready for measuring into bags.
Nice jewelry, but pricey, and there was a kind of grocery store there and a deli that had fast foods and made sandwiches. Gourmet Candy, and treats for fast snacks. Meds like aspirin and pepto and hygiene products.
I liked the watercolor paintings (original and signed) that they had for sale by a local artist. There is a post office in there too!
If you drive all the way to the uppermost parking area, you are warned about parking there, as it is only a drop off zone and handicap area. They will clamp your wheels if they catch you. I thought it was an awful fuss to make, until I saw where you have to park in relation to where you have to walk to get in…down the hill several hundred feet starts the regular parking!
Crapola…I was huff-puffing, walking the lots incline (it is like HIKING) to get up to the mountain park level. Almost out of breath by the time I reached the entrance. No wonder there is a drop-off zone! I can see why people try to cheat on the parking thing.
Once inside "The Village", there is NO CHARGE to walk around the place. (Parking was free too, as it should be after that horrible climb!).
There are several “rides” at the park for Summer and Fall use, but the park has limited hours and is only open on Weekends now in September and October, so plan your visit accordingly.
The rides are located in the section of the mountain they refer to as:
THE MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE PARK
GIANT SWING (This is a HUGE swing ! They suit you up and buckle you in, as a definite G-Force experience awaits…try not to go on this too soon after eating!).
ALPINE SUPER SLIDE (Fun and fast little yellow sled with brakes (yay) on a track that looks like something from the Olympics).
MOUNTAIN COASTER (You must try this!!! Individual coasters get hoisted to the top of a tree filled track and “coast” to the bottom around sharp turns and dips, using brakes to slow your speed).
SCENIC CHAIR LIFT (6-Passenger size, awfully pleasant leisurely “sit and point” ride to the top of the mountain, where you are subjected to views you will really want to photograph. A definite DO in Fall when the leaves turn!)
BUNGIE TRAMPOLINE (They harness you up and let you jump REAL HIGH for several minutes, without fear of breaking your neck on the fall off).
All Day Tickets Adult (48 inches and taller) $45.00
Junior (under 48 inches) $33.00
Toddler (ages 3&4) $19.00
Evening Ticket (4 pm - 9 pm) $29.00
6 Activity Ride Book (Adult Only) $42.00
Single Ride Tickets Adult $9.00 Junior $6.00
Mountain Biking (All Day) $26.00
Comfort Bike Rentals (Upright riding, easy to use, suspension seat)
4 hour/Half Day Rental $20
Full Day/Overnight $35
Half Day (4 hours) $15
Full Day (24 hours) 25
Downhill Mountain Bike Rentals Full Day $60
For Kids, there is a place called KID ZONE, where the munchkins can play mini golf, climb rock walls, jump on a blow up bounce house thingy, and trapse on something called the Spider Web, but mostly I saw them run around screaming. I guess it is fun…
If there are two of you adults, the 6-ticket package is really a great deal. It allows for you to ride 3 rides together (hopefully a good thing)and saves about $12 off of individual pricing. You will want to go on the Coaster, Super Sled and the Scenic Lift at the very least.
I only wanted to go on the Mountain Coaster today, which is $9.00. Not bad at all. I got my ticket and was given some vague directions on how to reach the ride from the ticket area.
The Park “Village” is cute, tho very touristy, and folks were enjoying beer and food outside of the food court. John Harvards (a chain Restaurant) is the fancy indoor place, that has a nice environment and fairly good (higher priced) menu, with a variety of micro brews and food from fun appetizers to steaks.
There were young bike riders zipping around, and lots of folks wandering about.
I found the mountain coaster entrance and climbed onto one of them and buckled myself in. They don’t baby you at this park, so take responsibility for your own safety by buckling in and securing your loose things. Zip your handbag and secure it over your shoulder. I had my camera out to photograph the ride, but was told to put it away.
You get some basic instructions on how to go forward and how to use the brake to control speed and they tell you not to tailgate or bump the person in front of you and stay back about 8-10 coaster lengths.
The ticket taker gave my coaster a shove to get it moving down the hoisted track and slowly I climbed. While you are going up the mountain, it does not feel “high”, as the ground is always only a few feet from the track.
Once at the “top” of the coaster ride, you are released from the hoist and told you are basically on your own to determine how fast you go to reach the bottom.
ZOOM! Off I went with a shriek and a laugh, down and around, zipping perilously around corners and feeling the wind in my hairspray…
It was so much fun, I felt like a 10 year old and “whoa!’d” and “weee’d” all the way down. There is a section where you are told to slow down, as the ride is about to end and you have to get out and let your coaster move on without you.
They have a person there to tell you how to get your seatbelt off. Thank goodness, because I was so thrilled from the ride, I didn’t have all my senses when I landed. Like a kid, I wanted to get back on and do it again!
I would recommend this to anyone! This ride is easy to control and pleasant enough for an elderly person or even a young child, but they don’t allow little kids to ride without an adult. This is not a ride two adults can fit on together, so no romantic interludes. You are on your own, solo, uno, for this.
I watched the Alpine Sled riders for a short while. You have to take a ski lift to the top to board this ride up there, and I saw men putting the sleds onto the lifts as well.
A man got off his sled at the end of the ride I watched and complained loudly that the lady in front of him went way too slow and he was backed up behind her. I guess when you get behind a slow poke, you are stuck having to use your brakes and you can't ram em or tailgate like you would in the car (tho I guess you could still hand signal and shout). Not a good ride for Road Ragers, lol.
I walked over to the Scenic Lift area and watched a few sets of people getting on and riding up.
It was neat how they put a bike onto the chair and solo riders went up in the very end seat alone. I guess the chairs are balanced so they don’t tip to the heavy side. I'd be nervous and want to sit in the middle myself, but then you would want a chair edge to cling onto wouldn't you?
I will be back to take this ride in a few weeks when the leaves turn.
I want to walk around and have a closer look at Zephyr, the windmill they installed in 2007. It makes all the power to run the mountain park in the summertime. (How cool is that?!)
Walking downhill back to the Wondercar was not nearly as bad as the climb up. I cheerfully went on my way up the back country roads in search of an ice cream stand.
But that’s another blog…
Have a great day!