Lake Winnie Amusement Park Offers Nostalgic Thrills and Fun

Lake Winnespesaukah, or Lake Winnie as it is affectionately called is like a time machine to a simpler, small town America amusement park. A cross between state fair and seaside boardwalk, Lake Winnie has lots of the old favorites amid modern rides and is one of the best amusement parks in Georgia.

Lake Winnie Amusement Park inTake a Trip Down Memory Lane at Lake Winnie Amusement Park

Lake Winnie Chattanooga TN

The nostalgia was not lost on my 11-year-old. He commented as we entered Lake Winnespesaukah amusement park, nicknamed Lake Winnie, that it reminded him of the State Fair, where our family has spent many a Labor Day weekend. Lake Winnie reminded me of summer’s on the Ocean City, MD boardwalk, the memory cemented by the smell of fried dough wafting through the air. The one difference is the employees. Lake Winnie employs local teens, who reminded me a lot of my teenage son’s friends.

Lake Winnie is located in Rossville, Ga., so close to the Tennessee line that they advertise their location as Lake Winnie Chattanooga, TN. We traveled a country road to a gravel parking lot without attendant or parking fee to get to Lake Winnie. We crossed the painted wooden ticket booths to enter the over 80 acre amusement park. It’s a totally different feel than the bigger theme parks in Georgia.

Lake Winnie Amusement ParkLake Winnie Rides

What’s your favorite ride from childhood? I bet you can find it here. There are 38 rides include some of my childhood favorites, the Pirate, Matterhorn, Scrambler (although they call it something different), as well as a 5-acre water park. My son and I headed first to Wild Lightenin’. At Disney it’s called the Primeavl Whirl. At LEGOLAND it’s the Technic Test Track. But Lake Winnie is not Disney, nor is it LEGOLAND. There is no extensive theming, just the pure ride experience.

My favorite stop was the wooden roller coaster, the Cannonball. It was a rather smooth ride for a coaster and had some good dips and turns, without rocking your brain around in your skull or spinning.

lake winnipesaukee chattanooga or Lake Winnie as most people call it.My son liked the Fly-O-Plane that debuted in 1947. The planes went around, but also spun individually. I used to love spinning, but not so much anymore. I don’t know if it was the summer heat or that I’m too old for swinging in circles, but the Wave Swinger kinda did me in, and ruined me for the other spinning rides.

I commented to my son that perhaps he should have brought a friend instead of his old mother, but he was happy for my company, and with two teens at home, I was happy to be wanted.

We did one more spinning ride and then headed to the bumper cars and some less adventurous amusements like the 1916 Carousel. Even in my hunched over state, I could still appreciate the craftsmanship of the giant music box and antique horses.

Soak Ya Water Park one of the Best Amusement Parks in GeorgiaSoakYa Water Park: The Lake Winnie Water Park

The SoakYa Water Park debuted in 2013, and is a fantastic addition. I think my son and I both sort of sizzled when we submerged ourselves in the lazy river. It was exactly what I needed, (that and a few bottles of water) to recover from my spinning ailment.

The water park has changing rooms and lockers, but the park is small enough that you could just take your stuff back to the car if you wanted. We rode several slides and generally cooled off. You won’t find any major crazy water rides here, but interesting slides with acceptable lines and lots of areas for little ones to splash and play.

Lake Winnie Hours and Prices

Lake Winnespesaukah is open from May through October. They are generally open on weekends May, August, September and October and all week in June and July. But Lake Winnie hours change depending on the day and month, so be sure to check the website before you go.

Lake Winnie prices depend on age. Under 1 is free. You can find Lake Winnie coupons or Lake Winnie discounts on the website. Be sure to check here before you go.

Lake Winnie Amusement ParkTips for a Great Day at Lake Winnie

  1. Arrive Early. As with any amusement park, getting there when they open the park will ensure you have little to no lines for a while. Since LakeWinnie is a smaller amusement park, you don’t have to leave time to get from the parking lot to the ticket booths, so arriving just 15 minutes before opening should give you plenty of time to get on sunscreen, purchase tickets and head inside. To save time, and money, order your tickets online at the Lake Winnie website. Make sure to check the special offers.
  2. Come During the Week. Weekends are the busiest time and will have the longest lines. Weekdays are generally slower. However, you may want to call before you go to see if there are any large groups or special discounts that day. We went on a very calm Wednesday, but the ticket takers said the previous day was a big promotional day for local residents and it was crazy.
  3. Bring Your Own Food. Lake Winnie’s food prices weren’t crazy, but to save money bring your own food, you can leave the park and return, and there are several spots with picnic tables.
  4. Know What’s Popular. The most popular rides are the Boat Chute, which was the first ride to open in the park, the Cannon Ball roller coaster and the Tour Train. On busy days, head to these attractions first for shorter lines.
  5. Learn the History. Kids will love the rides at Lake Winnie, but as an adult, to truly appreciate the park, read a little bit about the history. This article in Chattanooga Magazine gives a good, and quick, history of the park, as well as some things to look for while you are there.
  6. Bring a bathing suit and towel. It was very hot the day we went to Lake Winnepesukah, the Lake Winnie water park was such a respite from the heat, you’ll want to make sure you are prepared to enjoy it.

Fall Fun atLake WinneSPOOKah

In the Fall, Lake Winnie turns into Lake WinneSpookah. The theming extends to the rides too which are marked by a pumpkin for kids, a ghost for family, skull for thrill rides.

Where to Stay Near Lake Winnepesukah

There are lots of places to stay near Lake Winnie. Chattanooga is the closest big city, and it would be fun to spend a few days here. (Lake Winnie is actually considered one of the amusement parks in Tennessee too because it’s so close) The Lake Winnie website has a list of hotels, including ones in Georgia and Chattanooga.

For more Georgia Theme Parks, see our big post on the Best Amusement Parks in Georgia. 

We invited to experience Lake Winnie for the purposes of review. However, all opinions are my own and I only recommend places I would go. 



Sue Rodman | Managing Editor & Business Development

Sue Rodman is a mother of three boys, a PR professional, writer, and ice cream lover. For eight years, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. In Sept. 2016 Field Trips with Sue merged with 365 Atlanta Family. In addition to writing blog posts and managing the advertising and public relations for 365 Atlanta Family, Sue does freelance public relations and her writing has appeared online at TravelingMom, Trekaroo, Minitime Family and other family travel sites. She has contributed to print publications such as Family Fun, Simply Buckhead, BuckHaven and Publix Magazine. In addition, Sue has appeared on local and national news talking about family travel. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories.

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