Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 2, 2014

Parks across Pulaski County ready for busy 2014 tourist season

Burnside —

Swimmers at Pulaski County Park will enjoy lots of water this summer, but the former beach at General Burnside Island State Park likely will not open this year.
During rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam, water was barely visible from any point on Pulaski County Park. The county-operated park is now surrounded by rising Lake Cumberland and the park’s two boat ramps and beach are usable.
“You could swim at the beach now if you want to,” said Mike McQueary, assistant to Pulaski County Park manager Vickie McQueary. Actually, last summer when the Lake Cumberland was allowed to rise to between 700 and 705 feet above sea level, swimmers were able to use the beach, said McQueary. At 8 a.m. Wednesday, the lake was at 710.25, some 13 feet below the tree line and rising rapidly. 
The wide boat ramp at General Burnside Island State Park has been usable all along but swimmers are out of luck. The public swimming pool, in a bad state of repair, has been closed for several years. Water from a rising lake this spring will reach the beach along the lakeshore but growth during seven summers of low water has clogged the area.
“At this point the answer is ‘no,’ responded Steve Lutz, golf professional at the state park, when asked if the beach will reopen. He said the swimming area would have to be cleared before it can be used.
“I have not been told anything by the state (Kentucky Department of Parks), but in my opinion the swimming area at the park won’t open this year,” Lutz said.
Lutz indicated officials of the Kentucky Department of Parks may be taking a “wait and see” attitude – wait and see if the lake returns to normal and remains normal before making improvements. He said state officials have been at the park, looking around and talking about such things as walking trails.

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