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Remnants of Geauga Lake amusement park still exist

Just ask someone about their favorite childhood amusement park and you’ll start a conversation that will last for hours. The memories of these parks are vivid, and often invoke emotions that haven’t been felt in years.

On the unseasonably warm Saturday of Jan. 12, I set out on a photo mission to explore the remains of the once-great Geauga Lake amusement park in Aurora, Ohio. It ceased operations after the 2007 season.

With my DSLR camera, I sought to capture the state of the place that was such an important part of my childhood. What I saw was sadder than I expected.

As I approached the giant lot housing the former park on Depot Road, I saw multiple wooden roller coasters that were still standing, as if they were waiting for the operator to trigger the cars to go up the hill. The Big Dipper and Raging Wolf Bobs were rides I had ridden dozens of times — and it was so hard to see them basically left for dead.

Piles of rubble were scattered all over the park, and each likely marked the spot where a key operation of the park once existed. Weeds were overgrown and little signified the greatness that used used to be behind the rusted, locked gates.

From the side of the road, it was actually very difficult to figure out what was what at Geauga Lake. After I got home and looked at the photos, I started exploring websites for more information — and found a gem. “Geauga Lake: Today and Forever” actually has park maps dating back to the 1970s, and I used that to match up my memories with my digital images.

Check out some of the photos I took during my visit:

This blog topic came to light due to the enormous response I saw on Twitter and Facebook after posting the photos.

Here are a few comments that stood out on Twitter:

What memories do you have of Geauga Lake? Chime in via the comment box below.