The Enchanted Forest: Gone but Never Forgotten

In the summer of 2006, I became obsessed highly interested with a property once known as The Enchanted Forest, an amusement park meant for families with very young kids.  Opening in 1955, it was a fairy tale themed park, with many nursery rhymes “brought to life” and small rides that families could enjoy together.

After watching the John Waters movie Cry Baby, I became even more intrigued with the park, considering that it was basically one gigantic work of art.  Unfamiliar with the area, I drove to Ellicott City with my girlfriend at the time, and we explored the area.  By this point, there were only two relics of the original Enchanted Forest remaining in view of the general public.  The entrance castle, and the large road sign.  That was it.  Anything that wasn’t in the process of being saved by the nearby Clark’s Elioak Farm was left to rot inside the abandoned park.

Skip ahead 10 years.  In May 2016, I learned that the castle and sign were relocated, and the forest had been razed, thus ending the era of the Enchanted Forest.  Since I had some fairly enjoyable memories on this spot, I decided to go back to where the castle stood so I could compare and contrast what 10 years looks like.  A lot changes in 10 years.  Some of it is instant, and some of it takes the full 10 years.  But if there is one thing that is certain in life, it’s change.

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Standing in front of the original Enchanted Forest (2006)
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Same spot.  Ten years later. (2016)

To be honest, visiting the old spot was sort of a wash.  Aside from Old King Cole pointing into the shopping center, there was nothing left except a sediment pond, a bank, and a motorcycle shop.

After a short drive down the road, I visited the farm where a vast majority of artifacts from the original park were saved, thus creating a brand new park.  One where the kids of yesteryear could bring their kids of today and create the same memories.  For me, it was a place where I could enjoy seeing all of the gorgeous artwork that was saved from ruin due to neglect and the elements.

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The road sign and the castle in their new home (2016)

Below are some photos I took from Clark’s Elioak Farm, AKA the new Enchanted Forest.  It was a great visit.

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