(WNY News Now) – Bemus Point’s Midway State Park, an enduring relic of amusement park history, celebrated its 125th anniversary, earning recognition from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Bemus Point – Since its inception in 1898 as a charming trolley park, Midway State Park, nestled in Bemus Point, New York, has captivated generations of visitors with its enduring charm. This historic amusement park, initially established to entice weekend trolley riders, stands as one of only 12 remaining “trolley parks” nationwide and ranks as the 17th oldest continually operating amusement park in the United States.
In a significant milestone in its storied history, Midway State Park transitioned to state ownership in 2004, and this year marked its remarkable 125th anniversary. To mark this occasion, the park commenced a summer-long celebration. Festivities kicked off with the unveiling of a meticulously restored 1948 Ferris wheel, a timeless symbol of amusement park nostalgia. The jubilation continued with a special visit from the National Amusement Park Historical Association during their 2023 Park Hop.
The park’s roots harken back to its early days when visionary owners constructed playing fields, tennis courts, bathhouses, and a dance hall to allure trolley passengers seeking weekend escapades. In 1915, a new building emerged, complete with a kitchen, a spacious dining area, and ample room for dancing and roller skating. Today, this historic edifice houses a museum, a gift shop, convenient concession stands, and other amenities that cater to contemporary visitors.
While preserving its vintage charm, Midway State Park continues to offer a family-friendly atmosphere that has endeared itself to countless patrons. Visitors can embark on a nostalgic journey aboard the vintage carousel, engage in a friendly round of mini-golf, experience the thrill of the tilt-a-whirl, or race around the go-kart track. Families with young children will delight in the array of kiddie rides, ensuring a memorable experience for all. For those seeking classic midway fun, skill-testing games abound.
As a reminder to pet owners planning a visit in 2024, Midway State Park permits a maximum of two pets in day use areas, provided they are supervised, crated, or leashed with a six-foot maximum leash length. Proof of rabies inoculation may be requested by park staff. Pets are restricted from playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, amusement ride areas, pools, and guarded beaches, although this exclusion does not apply to service animals.
Midway State Park’s enduring legacy stands as a testament to its ability to blend nostalgia with modern amusement, making it a treasured destination for generations of visitors.