Top 10 Water Parks in New York

Top 10 Water Parks in New York

Feature Photo: Railroadwiki, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

When looking into the top 10 water parks in New York, one takes a gander at the entire state and all the tourism appeal that comes with it. Talk to an average person about some of New York’s top attractions, odds are the Big Apple will be the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps among nature enthusiasts, the Catskills, and Upstate New York will likely enter the conversation but how about the waterparks?  Overall, there are fourteen water parks in the state that have managed to win over a steady fan base of locals and tourists who keep coming back to what has become their personal favorites.

Top 10 New York Waterparks

#10 – Cascades Indoor Water Park @ Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Cascades Indoor Waterpark, located at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, belongs to Hope Lake Lodge Resort as an indoor water park loaded with some of New York’s most exciting water slides. Cortland’s Greek Peak is well-known for its reputation as a world-class ski resort. During the warmer months, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts venture to Greek Peak for their brand of recreational fun. In 2009, Hope Lake Lodge was opened in the ski area that featured over one hundred fractional ownership condos and a hotel. Included are Waterfalls Spa and Cascades Indoor Water Park. The park has been cited as featuring some of the most exciting water slides in New York, including The Falls, a four-story drop slide. There is also a giant wave pool and plenty of areas to relax.

One of the water park’s highlights is the Whitewater Wave Pool and its thirteen-foot-tall, thirty-foot-wide waterfall pouring into a 42,000-gallon pool. The Rapids Waterslides are among the four water slides the Cascades has to offer. Two of them are completely indoors that are designed with children and smaller adults in mind. The other two are designed for thrillseekers standing at least forty-eight inches tall to take on. Both of them require riders to step outside to enter slides that send them back into the building as it splashes down to a pool below.

#9 – Zoom Flume Water Park

Zoom Flume Water Park is far from boring as the ideal place to go for thrillseekers. Cliff Hanger and Double Trouble are among the highlights of several water slides that are intense, to say the least. There is also Rip Van Twister, a racing-style 316-foot mat slide that drops over thirty-five feet. As for families and visitors opting for something calmer, there is a large pool, a kiddie pool, and a lazy river. This water park is located in East Durham, New York, which is between two to three hours north of New York City. From late June until Labor Day weekend, Zoom Flume Water Park keeps the doors open for visitors to take on the eight slides, five play areas, and four restaurants. Among the visitors who’ve been to Zoom Flume, most of the reviews they’ve shared on sites like Tripadvisor have been very positive.

#8 – Splish Splash Waterpark

Splish Splash Waterpark has been regarded as one of the best water parks in New York due to its collection of great rides and extraordinary slides. Situated on ninety-six acres of land at Calverton, Long Island, there is something for everyone such as the Bombs Away for adrenaline junkies that have riders drop in freefall mode in mere seconds. There’s also Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror which spins in the dark, causing more than just a mild dizzy effect. As for water park enthusiasts wanting something more family-friendly, Mammoth River and its inflatable rafts, along with Octopus Pool, are designed for little ones to have some fun, too. In total, there are thirty rides that are open to the public from May to September.

The water park first opened up for business in 1991 by the same owners behind the infamous amusement park, Adventureland. Over time, Splish Splash has kept repeating visitors coming back for more with constant upgrades as older, less popular water slides and attractions are moved to make way for something new and exciting. In 2013, Splish Splash introduced Bootlegger’s Run, New York’s first water coaster. At the time, it featured a new generation hydromagnetic technology that required a minimum of two riders to enjoy the ride on a toboggan inline raft. This ride still remains popular among adrenaline junkies who have a love for speed, as well as the water.

#7 – Rocking Horse Ranch’s Big Splash Water Park

The Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is Highland, New York’s pride and joy. So is the Big Splash Water Park which offers a variety of slides, spraying fountains, and a large pool. If you’re looking to take the winter chill off, the heated pool should do the trick. Among the highlights of the water park are Big Splash, Cowpoke Corral, the Chuck Wagon Grill, and the Gold Rush Flume. In addition to something for everyone at the park, there are also special events such as the Country Western Weekend and the Kid’s Fishing Derby. There is no such thing as a dull moment at Rocking Horse and it continues to receive rave reviews from previous visitors over and over again.

Rocking Horse Ranch has been operating since 1958 when Nathan and Gloria Turk opened up the theme park during the Memorial Day weekend. Situated about ninety minutes north of New York City, this served as the couple’s dream getaway as their lifelong love for horses would serve as the key influence to building the resort. Before becoming Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, the site the Turks purchased was formerly known as Friedman’s Shady Lawn Rest Hotel.

This late 1800s hotel was among the oldest in Ulster County and it had some history that included Jack “Legs” Diamond’s bootlegging operation during the 1930 prohibition era. Instead of bulldozing this historical hotel, the Turks had it fully renovated. Since then, what started off as a modest hotel has turned into the ultimate getaway. Still running as a family operation, Rocking Horse Ranch Resort and its Big Splash Water Park have repeatedly come out on top as New York’s best, especially for families.

#6 – Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark

The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark can be accessed just eighty miles north of New York City in Queensbury. The whole park first opened up for business on February 7, 2006, with the resort featuring New York’s first indoor water park of its kind. The lodge has two hundred rooms, as well as a 38,000-square-foot indoor water park known as White Water Bay. With a consistent temperature control of eighty degrees, the water park feels like a tropical escape. As a park, Six Flags opens from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Since the water park is indoors, it is open year-round. There are eleven water slides that include G-Force and ProSlide Hammerhead. These two are ideal for thrillseekers needing that fast speed rush. For families, the children’s play area features a pirate ship, spray cannons, and a hot tub. The six-foot waves are the highlight of the 400,000-gallon wave pool, as is the lazy river that winds through the water park. Because this is Six Flags, this is a full-scale amusement park that offers land lovers an equally impressive collection of rides and attractions as well.

#5 – Six Flags Great Escape & Hurricane Harbor

Hurricane Harbor is a water park that belongs to Six Flags Darien Lake Amusement Park. One of the highlights includes the 300-foot water slide, Brain Drain, that sends riders into a 360-degree sideway loop. There is also the Big Kahuna, designed for the entire family to enjoy an awesome raft ride. This park first opened up for business in 1998 in Corfu, New York. Situated between Buffalo and Rochester on Interstate 90, this Six Flags resort has campground and lodging facilities to accommodate visitors who visit both the theme park and the water park. Prior to becoming part of the Six Flags franchise, Darien Lake began as a 1954 man-made lake that became a popular swimming destination.

After an investor acquired 164 acres bordering the lake in 1964, a campground and picnic area was developed to accommodate up to twenty-three campers. He continued to expand his property holdings to nearly one thousand acres of land that included six additional lakes. Additional campsites were installed, as well as a series of attractions that turned the area into a popular amusement park destination. At one point, this area was called Darien Lake Fun Country. The history of the water park began in 1990 as Barracuda Bay. From 2010 until 2021, it was known as Splashtown at Darien Lake. Today, it is known as Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

#4 – SplashDown Beach

SplashDown Beach is located in Fishkill and is designed to keep visitors entertained throughout the whole day. Located in the southwestern region of Dutchess County, Fishkill and its water park sits right next to Beacon, which is about sixty miles north of New York City. Fishkill earned its name from “vis kill,” a name given to it by the Dutch. As a community, Fishkill’s history and scenery are as rich as it gets since it was founded by a pair of merchants in 1683.

One of the latest highlights of SplashDown Beach is the Megalodon. Designed to resemble this prehistoric marine animal, this is a ride that gives thrillseekers a near-vertical, zero-gravity ride experience as they ride their raft in an exciting ride that doesn’t disappoint. This is the largest attraction of its kind in the Northeast. Add Bullet Bowl, Humunga Half Pipe, Pirate’s Plunge, and Pirate’s Revenge to the roster of water park fun and it’s understandable why SplashDown Beach has been dubbed “America’s Biggest Little Water Park.”

For kids, Shipwreck Lagoon offers a themed pirate ship with geysers, fountains, and tipping buckets. They also have access to four water slides to keep them busy and entertained. The park’s Monster Wave Pool and Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River also offer plenty of outdoor fun as visitors flock to SplashDown Beach summer after summer since it first opened its doors to the public in 1990.

#3 – The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark

When visiting Monticello, New York, the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark offers one of the nation’s most modern, top-notch indoor water parks. Situated just ninety minutes north of New York City, this family-class resort also has over three hundred beautifully designed suits and a lodging experience right next to the Catskills Mountains. The benefits of an indoor water park mean visitors can enjoy the slides no matter what the weather conditions happen to be. Inside, there are eight water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a children’s area featuring a pirate theme.

The park’s highlights include the Black Hole, Boomerango, and the Kamikaze. The Texlon transparent roof that domes over the water park is the largest of its kind in the world. Even though this fun park is situated in New York, the conservatory and the warm temperature feel like you’re in the tropics. There is also a large pool, plus opportunities to laze about under the sun. In 2021, Kartrite received the Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award from Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc. for exceeding industry standards when it came to management, professionalism, and safety.

#2 – Seabreeze Amusement Park

Located in Rochester, New York, Seabreeze Amusement Park has more than just an impressive collection of rides, games, and attractions. It also has an amazing water park that has some great slides, including the Corkscrew and the Viper Plunge. If those seem too intense for your liking, the lazy river and the wave pool are perfectly designed to help you relax. This is a seasonal park that opens from late May until early September. The history of Seabreeze begins in 1879 when it first opened up its doors as an amusement park. To date, it is the fourth-oldest operating amusement park in the United States.

When it first opened, there was much competition in the Rochester area when it came to tourism. In order to compete, Seabreeze focused on bringing in additional carnival rides and attractions to win tourists over. Today, Seabreeze not only stood the test of time but has come out on top as one of New York’s favorite amusement parks. Adding to its appeal is the water park. Thrillseekers taking on Hydro Racer enjoy this fast-paced slide on mats racing down towards the finish line. If this seems a bit too intense, there are a variety of slide options to choose from, as well as a lazy river, spray grounds, and a wave pool.

#1 – Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Once upon a time, a park opened in 1956 at Old Forge in the Adirondack region. It started off as a thirty-five-acre park before it nearly doubled in size over time. Now known as The Enchanted Forest Water Safari, the park was formerly known as The Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks. It is New York’s largest water park and is one of the highest-ranked water parks in the United States. The design focuses on children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

After it changed hands from its original ownership by the Cohen Family to the Noonan Family, this s when the water park also underwent a name change. It expanded considerably which included the installment of Wild Waters, a pair of 350-foot water slides that were added in 1984. It was the first water slide added to Enchanted Forest, which paved the way for a designated water park. The ride has since been discontinued and was replaced by The Shadow in 2002. In 1986, the Raging Rapids water slide was introduced, as well as the Tadpole Hole kid’s area. In 1999, there was the Adirondack Expedition expansion that added eight additional water rides, as well as another kid’s playing area known as the Sawmill.

Additional highlights of Enchanted Forest Water Safari are the Cascade Falls family raft ride, the Killermanjaro’s Revenge, and the Tidal Wave Pool. Even though this is a water park if a visitor wants to stay dry they could spend time at Calypso’s Cove. Here, they can choose between riding bumper cars, go-karts, the Ferris wheel, and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Also for young kids, Storybook Lane is the place to be. As for thrillseekers, Killermanjaro’s Revenge is over two hundred feet of speed slide that features a trapdoor launch chamber. There is also the four-lane Serengeti Stampede where racers are pitted against each other on a mat slide. Mama Strike is an enclosed body slide that features a launch chamber and horizontal loop.

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