About a 45 minute drive from my hometown used to lie a very quaint little ‘amusement park’. I use the term in quotations because there were no big, scary rides, no waterpark or anything like that, but to a small child it was pretty great. Here’s a brief explanation of a ‘day in the life’ at Trinity Loop.
10am – Start begging whatever parent/grandparent/guardian/whoever had the bright idea to tell you the night before that you were going, that its most definitely time to leave.
11am – Arrive at park and be greeted by the cardboard cutout referred to as “Choo Choo Charlie” who would enthusiastically wave at all as they entered.
11:15am – Start begging for cotton candy.
11:20am – Ride ferris wheel.
11:30am – Ride bumper boats.
12pm – Ride the train (actual train) that would take you around the park. This is what made the park special, the fact that it was a full train loop (one of only few in North America) that was used to help trains to get more efficiently to higher/lower elevations. Once the rail system ceased to exist in Newfoundland, the Loop was built around this train ride and was its signature attraction.
12:30pm – Finally get some cotton candy.
12:45pm – Go for a ride on a paddle boat where inevitably whatever adult was in your presence would do all the hard work while you chilled out in the back.
1:15pm – Repeat 11:20 and 11:30.
2pm – Play mini-golf
3pm – Beg for one last ride on the ferris wheel but ended up placated by being offered a late lunch/early supper on the caboose dining car.
3:30pm – Eat chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.
4pm – Leave to go home.
As you see, it wasn’t an overly fancy place but definitely enough to keep a kid occupied for a day.
Here’s where the sad part starts – around 2004, due both in part to dwindling attendance and high upkeep of the attractions, the park closed. It was always hoped it may be able to open again in the future. However in 2011 the area was hit by a bad hurricane that basically destroyed the remnants of it and has left it in a terrible state of disrepair.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend (early October) a friend and I went home for the long weekend and decided to check out the old site to see what it had become. It wasn’t pretty.
Basically what followed was a soul crushing look at a piece of our childhood destroyed. It now resembles a place that wouldn’t go amiss in a horror film. We left the place both glad we had the chance to see it in person and also very sad. We made sure to listen to happy music on the drive back home!