Chippewa Lake Park

The Tumble Bug


The "Bug"

While rare today, Tumble Bugs were very popular rides in the early amusement park days, and Chippewa Lake Park had one... called simply the "Bug". Built by the Traver Company in Beaver Falls, today you'll find only a few still in operation as most of them have been scrapped, but the only one that I know of that is sitting and rotting away is the Chippewa Lake Park bug. It was installed in 1927 where it stands to this day.

If you're from the area and curious, there is one at Kennywood Park in PA. I've ridden it, and it moves along at a surprisingly fast pace for its day and age. The ride is essentially just a round track, with steep up and down dips, and a segmented train that circles the track going up and down those dips. The riders sit on a flat bench seat in a circular car while holding on to a wheel in the center. It makes for lots of bumping of the butts as you slide around in the cars a little.

Today the bug sits in the deep woods of Chippewa Lake. Most of the wood has rotted away, and the station is nearly gone. The cars are in surprisingly good shape considering their age and the fact that they've been in the elements since the late 1970s. It is not known what will happen to the ride if the park gets bulldozed (as of this writing, the park is standing), but I'm hopeful that someone will take the time to rescue one of about 4 bugs left in existence.


Pictures of The "Bug"
Click any picture to see a full sized
The Bug loading platform, Winter 2005
An old 1999ish picture of the sign.
Overview of the entire circle in winter of 2005
Track - Taken Fall of 2007
Station - Taken Fall of 2007
Track - Taken Fall of 2007
One of the cars. You can see that someone painted the motor cover with little eyes.
The inside of the car from around 2001 or so. The metal frame you see is the bench, and the wheel type thing that you held on to is just visible in gray in the lower middle of the picture.
A more recent overview of the entire station. You can see that the past few years haven't been kind to the wood when compared to the first picture in the set.


To see the entire unlabeled gallery of all of my current "Bug" pictures, click HERE

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