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Cascade Park and Big Run Falls: Picnic Grounds and Amusement Park Ruins: New Castle, Lawrence County

New Castle's Cascade Park has lasted as a picnic destination for more than a century. It started off as an amusement park that was built by a local streetcar company to boost weekend ridership. People would dress in their Sunday best to go and have a relaxing day at the park's groves, take a spin on the amusement rides at the park, and socialize with people. The amusement park was opened in 1897 and hung on through 1982. After the amusement park was abandoned, efforts were made to preserve many of the structures of the old amusement park. Thanks to this effort, the park sits as one of the most intact sets of amusement park ruins, while still being used for its initial purpose, as a popular picnic area. The old carousel pavilion, ballroom, coaster station, and more remain refurbished and intact, and used as picnic groves. The centerpiece of the park is a beautiful waterfall. Just beyond the drop of the waterfall, you can see the supports from the park's old roller coaster that used to drop right into the gorge. Sadly the coaster was removed when the park closed, but the old supports leave lots to the imagination. I can only imagine how neat it would be for a coaster to drop into a chilly gorge on a hot summer day in this park. As an amusement park aficionado and someone who seeks out waterfalls, this is something I really wish I had the chance to experience. Even without the roller coaster and rides though, this park is still a lovely and lively picnic area that is well worth checking out. 

For more background on when this place was an amusement park, check out this article on our other page. 

Cascade Park is a wonderful place to explore, take in a community event, and picnic. Well worth a stop if you are in the area, or to take a picnic to for a little afternoon relaxation.

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