Legendary lumberjack gets winter makeover

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OLD FORGE — Among off-season attraction work underway at Enchanted Forest Water Safari is a complete refurbishment of the iconic Paul Bunyan statue.

The 19-foot-tall Bunyan - who wears a white and red checkered shirt, green pants and brown boots - has been a fixture since the park opened in 1956, said Enchanted Forest President and General Manager, Kelly Greene.

“He stands tall at the front of the park. ...He originally guarded Story Book Lane,” Greene said. “He is definitely one of the most iconic photo spots at the park. Several generations now have photos taken next to him,” the park president and general manager added.

Now, Bunyan is getting entirely new fiberglass and the inside structure was rebuilt.

Greene said that once complete, Bunyan will still be wearing his same traditional outfit in the same familiar colors.

The legendary giant lumberjack isn’t the only massive renovation project going on this fall and winter at the iconic Adirondacks amusement park.

Construction also began after Labor Day on the installation of three new state-of-the-art water slides at the park:

A new four-lane, 300-foot mat slide with loops to replace the former mat slide ride;

A 200-foot speed slide, with a drop launch pad to replace the former Killermanjaro attraction; and

A new 295-foot speed slide with loops and a drop launchpad.

The expansion project included the demolition of the Killermanjaro and Serengeti Surf Hill rides, re-engineering and construction of the new slides, as well as the re-engineering of the water pumps and filtration equipment, officials said.

The park attracts over 200,000 visitors annually, officials said, adding that according to the travel website TripAdvisor the water park is ranked the 4th best in the U.S. and 17th worldwide.

Enchanted Forest is also recognized as New York’s largest water theme park with more than 50 rides and attractions, including 32 water rides, classic amusement rides, games and a scenic walking trail featuring legendary storybook characters.

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