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Regional pools and swimming lakes set to open Memorial Day weekend

By DAVE LAVENDER The Herald-DispatchMay 26, 2019

The clock’s ticking, and the two-and-a-half-month-long window to splash down outdoors starts this weekend.

Here’s a look at just a few places to cool off at local swimming pools, water parks and spraygrounds.

A.D. Lewis Pool

The 61-year-old A.D. Lewis Community Center Swimming Pool will open later in the season. The pool did not open in 2011 but was opened in 2012 after a grant helped patch the aging pool. In 2013, the pool also failed to open because of a pump failure. Thanks to donations by Marathon and community volunteers such as Leon White, the pool was opened in 2014-16. Thanks to a community donation, the pool is now free to the public.

WHERE: 1450 A.D. Lewis Ave., Huntington

OPENING: TBD; cleaning in progress

HOURS: Once open hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The pool is closed Monday and Tuesday.

HOW MUCH: Free (but donations are accepted). Bring towels and your own concessions (no alcohol allowed).

CALL: Maria Hill, director of the A.D. Lewis and Fairfield East community centers, 304-696-5908

Dreamland Pool

Dreamland Pool opened in 1926 and was once the largest swimming pool in the United States east of the Mississippi River, measuring 250 feet by 125 feet. Acts such as Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra once played the pavilion. About the size of a football field, Dreamland sports two cement floats in the middle of the pool to allow swimmers a place to rest. Dreamland Pool was renovated in 2008 and in 2015 when volunteers from Marathon Petroleum helped open the pool with about $125,000 worth of contributions and volunteer labor. A donation from the Hammer Foundation allowed for the painting of the pool in 2017. New this year is resurfaced tennis courts. There are concessions (including Austin’s Ice Cream) and new basketball and sand volleyball courts as well.

WHERE: U.S. 60 and 23rd Street in Kenova

OPENING: Dreamland Pool kicks off its 93rd season at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday

ADMISSION: Special discount admission will be $2 Tuesday and $3 Thursday. Admission other days is $5; free for ages 3 and under. No coolers, but concessions available.

CONTACT: Call 304-453-6288; city hall at 304-453-3121 or go online at https://www.facebook.com/dreamland.pool/ for more info

Stowers Branch Swimming Area

Beech Fork Lake boasts a swimming area and sand beach. There’s also a playground and shower house/bathroom and a picnic deck available for rent, as are all shelters. There are individual grilling sites with picnic tables. Shelters are $80 for the day, and the deck is $35 for the day. Reserve at www.recreation.gov and 877-444-6777. Fishing is available nearby. At the dam (around the bend) there is a welcome center with a small wildlife and natural history museum, as well as boat rentals, hiking trails, playgrounds and more. No pets (except for service dogs), and no alcohol permitted. Bathhouse and changing facilities.

WHERE: Beech Fork Lake, 5445 Beech Fork Road, Lavalette.

OPENING: 10. a.m. Friday, May 24.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

HOW MUCH: $5 per car; no more than $20 for larger vehicles (i.e 15-passenger vans). You can ride your bike to the swimming area and pay $2, or walk up and pay the same price (16 and older.) Those 15 and under can walk up at no charge. Annual passes are available at the Visitors Center. Corps of Engineers and all day-use areas, $40; America The Beautiful passes, (also U.S. Forest Service and BLM sites) $80 per year for ages 16 and up; a senior pass (must be 62 or older) is $10, and good for life (currently).

CALL: 304-525-4831.

Beech Fork State Park

A 50-meter swimming pool and bathhouse facility opened at Beech Fork on Memorial Day in 2000. The complex includes a bathhouse and food/snack stand open to park guests and the general public. There’s also hiking and mountain biking trails nearby (including the newly renovated Lost Trail and Overlook Trail) as well as basketball courts and many other recreational opportunities, including summertime ranger programs. Beech Fork is the state’s largest park campground, with RV and tent sites, and cabin rentals. New this year is disc golf course. The park has also stand-up paddleboards, fishing and pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and rowboats for rent.

WHERE: 5601 Long Branch Road, Barboursville.

OPENING: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, and closed Monday, with the exception of holidays (including Memorial Day).

HOW MUCH: $5 for those 11 years and younger; $6 for those 12 and older and $5.50 for seniors (65 and older). The pool is also available for rent after hours, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for parties.

CALL: 304-528-5794.

April Dawn Park Sprayground

The sprayground has dancing fountains. There’s also an open play space, a picnic shelter with nine tables and two grills, and restrooms. Maximum shelter capacity is 60. There’s also a small skate park as well.

WHERE: Located in the city of Milton at the corner of Mason and Smith streets.

OPENING: Friday, May 25.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.

HOW MUCH: Free. The shelter is also free, on a first-come, first-served basis.

CALL: 304-696-5954 or go online at https://www.ghprd.org/index.php/april-dawn-park

Barboursville Splash Park

Opened in August 2015 at Barboursville Park, the park boasts different spray levels and timing patterns coming from both above and below ground.

The splash park can accommodate around 200 children at a time and is not intended for a specific age range, but adult supervision is required. The 750-acre Barboursville Park includes soccer fields, three baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, Little League fields, a fishing lake and ponds, picnic areas, an amphitheater, walking trails, a horse show ring, a disc golf course, and an archery range. The picnic shelters can be rented for a fee. Each shelter has electricity and one barbecue grille. All shelters have access to restrooms, playgrounds and parking lots. For rental rate information, visit http://barboursville.org/barboursville-park.html. Three canopies at the Splash Park are first-come, first-served. They are available for parties 7 to 9 p.m. Each canopy is $150. There can be three parties at once.

WHERE: Within Barboursville Park in the front of the Little League T-ball field.

OPENING: Saturday, May 25.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

HOW MUCH: Free.

CALL: 304-733-1500.

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park

The pool features a water slide and a children’s area with a rain tree, and is located next to the lake (swimming is not allowed in the lake). Nearby are campgrounds, fishing, hiking, boating, basketball, tennis, horseshoes, picnic areas, bicycling, mountain biking, miniature golf, concerts in the amphitheater and even a SCUBA diving refuge. Hours for the Marina are: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Rental boats include: Pontoons, motor boats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats.

WHERE: Greenup, Kentucky.

OPENING: 10 a.m. Friday, May 24.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Hours subject to change in August.

HOW MUCH: $10 and $5 for children (under 12); free for children 3 and under.

CALL: 800-325-0083 or go online at www.parks.ky.gov and click Greenbo.

Hurricane Spray Park

The Hurricane Spray Park — which was named No. 19 on the list of top U.S. Playgrounds by the Early Childhood Education Zone in 2017 — features nine fixtures, including some in plant and animal shapes, buckets which dump water and spouts of water shooting up from a concrete pad. We have the Caboose Museum is available by appointment. Call the office. New lighted basketball courts.

WHERE: Located at City Park in Hurricane.

OPENING: Saturday, May 25 through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

HOW MUCH: Free to Putnam County residents. Outside residents are $3. Also available to book for private events from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. for $125.

CALL: 304-562-5896 or go online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hurricane-City-Spray-Park/

Ironton Sprayground

Built in 2010, the Sprayground is open daily in summer and weekends in the fall. Just a few blocks away is the skate park, which is located at North 4th and Etna Street. A kids’ train was installed in 2014, and a new shelter was added in 2015.

OPENING: Monday, May 27.

WHERE: South 2nd Street, Ironton.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

HOW MUCH: Free and open to the public.

CALL: Go online at www.ironton-ohio.com or call 740-532-0198.

East Lynn Lake Swimming Beach

The East Lynn Lake Swimming Beach is located at East Lynn Lake on the East Fork of Twelvepole Creek. There is new sand at the beach and many improvements at the lake, which has 44 miles of shoreline. There are canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals, as well as camping, boating, water-skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting and picnicking. There is also Wi-Fi in the park. The campground offers 166 sites with electrical and/or water hookups. A boat ramp, amphitheater, playground, and basketball and volleyball courts are available.

WHERE: East Lynn Lake. From I-64 in Huntington, take Exit 8 south on W.Va. 152 to Wayne. Travel east on W.Va. 37 for 19 miles and follow signs into the campground.

OPENING: The swimming beach is open

HOURS: Daylight to dark.

HOW MUCH: Free and open to the public. No alcohol or pets. Folks are encouraged to wear PFDs. No motorized boats allowed near the swimming area, and no cliff jumping.

CALL: 304-849-2355.

Big Bend Swimming Beach

The beach is located at the upper end of Lake Vesuvius. There are no lifeguards, but it is a pleasant sandy beach where families can spend a warm summer afternoon. Also at Lake Vesuvius, Kountry Kayaks does boat rentals including kayaks (solo and tandem), pedal, Stand-up Paddleboard boats. They are open weekends only. The lake also has a number of hiking trails, multi-use trails OHV trails, archery trail, and picnicking, primitive camping, group camping, and improved sites for RV.

WHERE: Lake Vesuvius, located 6.5 miles north of Ironton, Ohio, just off Ohio 93. Turn on County Road 29 and follow the signs to the Recreation Area (1 mile). Turn at the entrance to the recreation area to the left and go past the lake and the boat dock. The beach is at the end of this approximately 1.5-mile road.

OPENING: At 10 a.m. Friday, May 24.

HOURS: 10 a.m. and closes around 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

COST: A $3 day use fee is charged.

CALL: Ironton Ranger District, 6518 SR 93, Pedro, Ohio, 740-534-6500.

Waves of Fun at Valley Park

The Putnam County Parks and Recreation’s newly refurbished Wave Pool is back open in the heart of Valley Park, which has undergone extensive renovations in the past couple years. Valley Park features three new baseball/softball fields, a new soccer field, an all-inclusive playground, community garden, three new tennis courts, a professionally designed disc golf course and more. New this year at the pool, will be Dive-In Movie Nights in June and July, concessions (including smoked BBQ by Happy Belly Foods), and Rocky’s World of Ice Cream, doing lemonade and slushies. There’s also free yoga in the park series by Trinity Yoga outside in the courtyard by the playground.

WHERE: 1 Valley Park Drive, Hurricane, WV 25526

OPENING: Saturday, May 25.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. After Memorial Day, it will be closed May 28-31, then open June 1-2, then close 3-5, and then open June 6 until Labor Day.

HOW MUCH: Adult admission is $10, $8 per child (5 to 11), $6 for seniors (60 years and older) and military members, and children under the age of 4 are free.

CONTACT: Call 304-562-0518.

Carter Caves State Resort Park

Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill, Kentucky, is home to a large, lifeguard-protected swimming pool, located a half-mile drive from the lodge. The pool is free to lodge and cottage guests. Present your key to enter. Carter Caves is also home to more than 20 caverns winding beneath its forested hills. There’s also horseback riding, canoeing on Smoky Valley Lake, fishing, gem mining, hiking, camping and a variety of cave tours from wild (crawling in un-lit caves) to mild (walking in lighted caves). The pool is available (after hours) for rental pool parties for $175, add in the diving well area for $200. If available, you can also rent the pool shelter for an additional $50.

OPENING: Saturday, May 25

HOW MUCH: Free to lodge and cottage guests and. Please present your key to enter. Campers rate is $3, adult visitors are $5 and children are $4 (ages 3 to 12). Passes: single is $75, two-person $140, three-person family $190, four-to-five-person is $260 and family six to nine $340. Lap swim MW-F, 8 to 9:30 a.m. $2.

HOURS:10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day

CONTACT: 606-286-4411

ACE Wonderland Water Park

Wonderland Waterpark at ACE Adventure Center in Minden, W.Va., spans more than five acres, centered around a spring-fed mountain lake filled with a 25-foot inflatable climbing mountain, giant spinning saturn balls, seesaws, a zip line into the lake, launch friends into the water from the infamous BLOB, and race down their 200-foot-long twin water slides, On the beach, you can sun bathe and play volleyball, tetherball and life-sized chess. There’s also a wood-fired pizza restaurant and a pub just a few feet from the beach.

OPENING: Now through Sept. 30.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily throughout the summer season.

HOW MUCH: Full-day waterpark passes are $29.95; youth 6-8 are $15. Half-day passes are $19.95; $10 for youth 6-8. An individual season pass is $179 for unlimited visits. Patio passes (for people not swimming) are $12 for a Full Day all ages and $8 for a half day all ages.

CONTACT: 833-839-4846 or visit https://aceraft.com/wonderland-waterpark-at-ace/

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