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Knoebels has rides that’ll make your heart pound.

By Paula Franken

Ever scrambled to catch a line drive — or screamed for joy in your living room when your team made a game-winning goal? The adrenaline rush that comes with participating in (or watching) athletic activities is nothing new to Geisinger sports medicine specialist Ryan Roza, MD. “Adrenaline stimulates your heart to beat faster, prompts you to breathe more quickly and helps your blood vessels contract. Together, these changes enrich your blood with oxygen and redirect it to major muscle groups. This combination enhances strength! Adrenaline also provides temporary resistance to feeling pain,” he explains. “In a very rapid period of time, all this leads to a burst of better athletic performance.”

Luckily, these physical enhancements apply to your brain as well. A fully oxygenated brain is more focused, and this heightened state of awareness isn’t just efficient — it also feels great. “The feeling lasts long after the excitement is over,” explains Dr. Roza. “It’s something researchers call the ‘excitation transfer theory’ and it can leave your body wanting more.”

Adrenaline that’s released over long periods of time as a reaction to constant stress wears your body down, but short bursts actually boost your immune system, improving your ability to fight off infection, and can even lead to more antioxidants in your system to combat the free radicals that cause aging and tissue damage.

Need some human jet fuel? Look no further than Knoebels.

Knoebels, located in Elysburg, Pa., is a family-run business and America’s largest free-admission amusement park. And it’s been a favorite destination for people of all ages for generations.

At Knoebels, you’ll find kid-friendly rides, swimming, camping, golf and other attractions — along with some of the most adrenaline-pumping, gut-wrenching thrill-rides to be found anywhere.

Knoebels Amusement Resort logo.

Safety always comes first.

Always follow the park’s guidelines when it comes to height requirements, sit in designated seats and ride with a responsible party if required. Women who are pregnant and people with underlying health conditions should avoid these more intense experiences. But if you’re in good health and meet the height and age requirements, a thrill ride or two might be just what you need to snap you out of last summer’s COVID rut. Enjoy!

Phoenix

Phoenix roller coaster at Knoebels.

This classic roller coaster made its debut as the Rocket in 1947 in San Antonio, Texas. But like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, it was reborn at Knoebels in 1985 and has been consistently ranked as one of the top wooden roller coasters in the country.

  • How fast? 45 mph
  • How high? 78 feet
  • How long? 2 minutes

Impulse

Impulse roller coaster at Knoebels.

A vertical lift hill, a cobra roll and a zero-g roll working together bring you what might be the most intense 70 seconds of your life. Throw in four upside-down twists and a 90-degree free fall for heart-pounding, unforgettable fun.

  • How fast? Over 55 mph
  • How high? 98 feet
  • How long? 1 minute, 10 seconds

StratosFEAR

StratosFEAR drop ride at Knoebels.

Relax and take in the scenic view of the entire park as you rise slowly to the top of the 148-foot tower. Just remember, what goes up must come down — and this ride is no exception. Hang on tight as you take the free-fall plummet!

  • How fast? Over 47 mph
  • How high? 148 feet
  • How long? 1 minute, 30 seconds

Twister

Twister roller coaster at Knoebels.

At over 100 feet, Twister is the tallest rollercoaster in the park. High-velocity twists and turns hurl you through a dark tunnel, around a double helix and over hills and valleys. It’s relentless. It’s thrilling. It’s a ride you’ll never forget.

  • How fast? Over 51 mph
  • How high? 101.6 feet
  • How long? 2 minutes, 10 seconds

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