Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce
271 Enterprise Dr., Bristol, Conn. 860-583-3300
Most of the thrill of a coaster comes during the very first ride, so there’s no point in revisiting the same ones over and over again. That’s why you’ll want to try the heart-pumping Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, which—even though it’s the nation’s oldest amusement park—is off the radar of many New Yorkers. It got its name because it was built into the side of a mountain. Since its debut in 2000, this tree-canopied ride has quickly become a coaster-junkie favorite, because it is fast (reaching 60 mph), long (two-and-a-half-minutes), and delivers plenty of stomach flips (biggest drop: a solid 115 feet). Whizzing through the foliage, it represents nature’s fury.