“It was wonderful out here this past weekend. We had a lot of fishermen ... a lot of picnickers.”
Vickie McQueary, manager of Pulaski County Park, commented as she looked from a busy boat ramp toward a wide expanse of water dotted with fishing boats and fishermen. As Lake Cumberland is rising, crappie and other game fish are migrating from the main lake to spawning areas in the upper reaches of Fishing Creek around the park.
Permanently, for the first time in six years, Lake Cumberland has wrapped its arm around Pulaski County Park, arguably the most beautiful spot on the lake. For the past six years the lake has been operated at about 40 feet below normal, leaving Pulaski County Park high and dry.
Wolf Creek Dam has been repaired. Completion of the $594 rehabilitation of the mile-long structure has been celebrated. The water has begun to rise; 20 feet this summer and another 20 feet to historical operational levels next summer.
McQueary has seen it all. She has managed the county park for the past 13 years. She was there when Wolf Creek Dam was declared in high risk of failure. She has guided the park as it struggled through six dry summers; six vacation seasons when no sign of the lake could be seen from any point on the 800-acre park.
Now, optimism reigns supreme. Pulaski County Park is coming alive. Hopefully, previously discussed projects such as an amphitheater at the park will take on new life. At one time, many years ago, a proposed hotel at the park flickered like a pleasant dream. None has come to fruition.
However, at this point, a scenic park surrounded by water seems enough; a place where campers can launch their boats; a majestic sunrise and sunset over a beautiful lake.” That’s about all going on now,” said McQueary.