In 1988 an intensive research survey was conducted as part of the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department’s five year park and open space plan, which includes an evaluation of park operations and a guideline for future development. Results of the survey established that the public wanted to see more water-based activities in the Lake County Parks system. So, plans were begun for what would be the future Deep River Waterpark on the Deep River County Park campus. Thus, expanding the park’s land base to nearly 1,200 acres both north and south of Route 30.
1995 saw Deep River Waterpark open to the public with a wave pool, two body slides, one tube slide, a slow river ride, and a children’s play zone which included smaller slides and water play. From the first year, it was apparent to all involved that the Waterpark was under-built to meet public demand. While planners expected the facility to be popular, even park department officials were surprised by its attendance. Designed to serve about 140,000 visitors the first year attendance was 220,000.
In 1996, to help meet demand, the “Storm,” a three dark ride slide complex, was added to the park only one year after the park opened. 1999 was another year of expansion. New to the Waterpark was the “Dragon,” a speed slide complex that stands taller than any other structure in the park. Guests daring enough to try the Dragon feel like they’re free falling to the ground. They cover the 60-foot drop in a couple of seconds. Additionally, two new food and beverage areas, more restrooms, chairs, tables, and shade structures were added. The ever-popular park mascot, “Paddles T. Otter,” continued to make appearances throughout the season, and the Waterpark continued to exceed its projected attendance for each of its first five years of operation.
During 2004, even prior to the park gates closing on Labor Day, construction began on improvements for the 2005 season. The expansion was developed to the west of the original park and did not impact the daily operations. In fact, park visitors curiously watched the development.
2005 saw the Waterpark nearly double in size in an expansion that included the addition of an interactive family play structure for all ages, an action river, dueling bowl slides, more food stands, and visitor amenities. Adjoining the new entrance was the expanded parking lot and bus drop-off areas. Improvements were designed to serve more park visitors and serve them more quickly. While in the past the number of daily visitors the site could comfortably handle was about 5,000. With the expansion, caring capacity is more like 7,000.
Also, as part of the expansion was the construction of an outdoor ice plaza for winter use. Beneath the concrete plaza are miles of interacting coils designed to freeze a shallow layer of water when temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. The skating plaza opened the day after Thanksgiving to gathering crowds. In addition to filling a need in the region, the skating plaza added days of operation for the seasonal park.
2017 marked the addition of the "KRAKEN"...a 6 lane mat slide racer ride. You can ride it just for FUN or race up to 5 of your friends. The ride propels you through a translucent tube, twisting & turning until you emerge to a drop-off and into a run out that slows you down...then you want to ride again & again!
The best is yet to come!