NC Amusement Park Book Update

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So, I’ve been working on my Lost Amusement Parks of North Carolina book project for a few months. I’m still in the research phase, which is the heaviest part of my project. I started with a list of 80 amusement parks and I whittled that list to 63 parks I feel confident were amusement parks.

Wondering why I cut 17 parks from my list?

I needed a standard of what makes up an amusement park. For most modern definitions, an amusement park has a (permanent) mechanical ride or attraction of some sort, like a merry-go-round or roller coaster. Most of the parks I cut from my original list either called  themselves amusement parks or were called amusement parks but lacked any mechanical rides. Sometimes, they were trolley parks that offered recreational activities (a dancing hall or skating rink, boating, refreshments, etc.) but no rides. This means I also pulled out water parks or parks that only offered swimming in lakes or pools.

Some parks had circuses or operated as fairgrounds for a few weeks. I didn’t count those since they were temporary.

Still Looking for help with lost North Carolina amusement parks

I’m still pulling together information about the 63 parks on my list. Last week, I ran across three mountain parks I’d never heard of and need to add to my research list.

Bear Creek Scenic Railroad

I’d love to hear from you if you have any stories, postcards, brochures or photographs about any of the parks.

The Lost Amusement Parks of North Carolina will cover the major rides and people that worked there and the years the parks were open, including any major events that might have happened. Or even the food or performers. A lot happens at amusement parks and I’d like to compile as much information as possible. Even if you only remember visiting a pavilion at the beach, but you’ve got great family photos, I’d love to talk to you.

Know any of these lost parks?

  • Arkland Park in Franklinton?
  • Bear Creek Scenic Railroad in Topton?
  • Cherokee Fun Park or Cherokee Wonderland in Cherokee?
  • Greenfield Park in Wilmington?
  • Suttle Park in Charlotte?
  • Toyland Park in Durham?

If so, email me at! I would love to hear from you.

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