Top 3 Most Underrated Wooden Roller Coasters

After my post last December on the most overrated roller coasters, a visitor asked me to write the opposite. A post about the most underrated roller coasters. For this week’s Top 3 Thursdays, I will be covering the unsung heroes of the wooden coaster world. Here they are in no particular order:

Hellcat (Formerly Avalanche) at Timber Falls Adventure Park (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
For a such a diminutive roller coaster with such modest stats, Avalanche is a marvel. It’s the perfect illustration of how bigger is not always better. Located a short drive from Mt. Olympus Theme Park in the Wisconsin Dells area, Avalanche sits at the front of Timber Falls Adventure Park a small amusement park with put-put golf and an assortment of small rides. The S&S Power designed woodie runs a double loop around a few other attractions. The turns are extremely banked and seem so tight at times that your mind can’t fathom how the train is going to traverse them without flying off the track. Check out some images of Hellcat.

Rampage at Alabama Adventures (Beseemer, AL)
Rampage has found the fountain of youth. It’s over 10 years old and it runs like its brand new with speed and intensity without roughness. It offers both ejector air (in the back seat on the first) and moments of floater air throughout. Rampage was surprisingly smooth while still offering that out of control feeling you want in a woodie. Read my full Rampage review.

Viper at Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, IL)
On my trip to Six Flags Great America, I was caught by surprise by the park’s Coney Island Cyclone-clone Viper. It was much smoother than Six Flags Over Georgia’s Georgia Cyclone which gave me a beating back in ’02. I can’t imagine how rough it could be today. Viper’s a really fun ride that’s often overlooked as just another Cyclone copy.

Honorable Mention: The Legend at Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN)
I wouldn’t say that the Legend at Holiday World is underrated per se, but it is overshadowed by the park’s other coasters. Enthusiast favorite Raven and world-renowned mega woodie The Voyage seem to get more attention than Legend, but it’s an awesome roller coaster in its own right. Legend boasts a  very cool and unique terrain layout including a double helix/tunnel combo reminiscent of the Beast. Here’s an official video (POV section starts at 1:56) of Legend created by Holiday World:


Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

What’s Your Take?
What are some wooden coasters that you consider underrated? Also, if you have an idea for a future Top 3 Thursdays post let me know. Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.