Leap The Dips (Lakemont Park)

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Lakemont Park
Location Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA
Coordinates 40°28′14″N 78°23′47″W / 40.4705981°N 78.3964808°W / 40.4705981; -78.3964808
Status Standing but not operating
Operated June 2, 1902 to 2023
Replaced Gravity Railroad
Designer / calculations Edward Joy Morris
Type Wooden - Side Friction
Riders per train 4
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 41 feet
Drop 9 feet
Top speed 18 mph
Length 1452 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 25°
Duration 1:00
G-Force 1

Leap-the-Dips is a wooden side friction roller coaster located at Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA. Opened on June 2, 1902, the ride is currently the oldest roller coaster in operation and the only side friction roller coaster still operating in North America. The ride is standing but not operating as of 2024.[1]


The car mid-ride

The attraction first opened in 1902 as the Figure 8, replacing the Gravity Railroad.[2][3] In 1910, the ride was extended and renamed Leap-The-Dips.[4]

Leap-The-Dips closed in 1985 following a change in park ownership.[5] By this time, the ride's structure was worn out and as a result only one car was being operated.[6]

In 1991, it was nominated to become a National Historic Landmark.[5] It received this designation in 1996.[7]

A campaign was launched in the 1990s to restore and reopen Leap-the-Dips. Fundraising, donations from many individuals and organizations (including the American Coaster Enthusiasts) and loans generated the money required for the restoration.[8] Following a $1 million restoration effort, Lea-The-Dips reopened on May 31, 1999.[9][10] American Coaster Enthusiasts acknowledged Leap-the-Dips as an "ACE Roller Coaster Landmark" in 2002 and supplied a plaque.

The park and Leap-the-Dips were closed following the 2016 season.[11] The park reopened in 2019, but Leap-The-Dips remained closed. Following a refurbishment, Leap-The-Dips was reopened on July 3, 2020.[12]

In February 2024, the president of the company managing the park stated that none of the park's rides would operate that year.[13]


Leap-the-Dips features a figure-eight layout consisting of small drops followed by a turnaround.


Leap-the-Dips opened with around 8 cars with four seats each. The ride currently only operates single car and the others are in various states of disrepair.



  1. Kibler, William (2024-02-02). "Slim Pickings: Lakemont Park eliminates rides for 2024 season". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved 2024-02-02.
  2. "The "Figure Eight" at Lakemont". Altoona Tribune. June 19, 1902. p. 8. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  3. "Clipping". Altoona Tribune. 28 February 1902. p. 5. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  4. "Lakemont Park Opens Saturday". Altoona Times. May 25, 1910. p. 10. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "National Historic Landmark Nomination". 1991. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  6. "Park's future triggers fight in Altoona". The Philadelphia Inquirer. August 30, 1985. p. 14. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  7. "Leap-The-Dips". National Historic Landmarks Program. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  8. Success of Fund-Raising Efforts - Leap The Dips (Wayback Archive)
  9. Leap the Dips Roller Coaster - P. Joseph Lehman, Inc.
  10. "Oldest Coaster". Courier-Post. June 3, 1999. p. 31. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  11. "Lakemont Park to Close for Renovations During Summer of 2017".
  12. Ozana, Rus (July 2, 2020). "Leap The Dips to Reopen". American Coaster Enthusiasts. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  13. Kibler, William (2024-02-02). "Slim Pickings: Lakemont Park eliminates rides for 2024 season". Altoona Mirror (in English). Retrieved 2024-04-21.

External links