WINDSOR — A welcome resource has returned after a decade's long absence.
The swimming area at the Aiken State Park provides another option for area residents to keep cool during the summer months, having re-opened Memorial Day Weekend.
An enclosed area provides sunbathers an opportunity to take a respite from the heat and humidity, and the shallow swimming area, 4 ½-feet deep, makes for a controlled, safe and family-oriented environment, said Robert Mahoney, Aiken State Park, park manager. The natural swimming pond was one of five Civilian Conservation Corps Parks reopened recently, said Mahoney.
“They were built in the 1960s,” said Mahoney. “Cheraw was our test site this past year, and based on the success of that location, we decided to reopen swimming ponds in the Midlands, the Sand Hills area, in Poinsett, Barnwell, Lee and Aiken.”
The water quality in the swimming area at the park is safe, having passed a series of tests, said Mahoney. The swimming pond in the Aiken State Park is spring fed.
“We also have water artesian wells in the park that are spring fed and are coming off of aquifers in the ground,” said Mahoney. “It's a family oriented activity. Families will come to the park, cook out, and some will spend the night in their campers. There are places to walk, ride a bike and fish.”
Cub Scout Troop 421 was at the park on Saturday, and enjoyed a variety of activities, including a bounce house slide.
“This is Cub Fun Day, and we held a bake sale to raise money for the event,” said Erica Corso, a Cub Scout parent. “We're out here enjoying nature, swimming in the lake and having a good time. It's pretty nice to come out here with the family.”
There are no lifeguards on duty at the park, so those who choose to use the swimming pond are doing so at their own risk.
Jamie Gunter brought her children to the swimming area, after having been to the location previously, and enjoyed an afternoon of relaxation.
“We came out here on Father's Day, and it was perfect,” said Gunter. “It's a peaceful place, and having the opportunity to see my children smile is wonderful.”
The cost is $2 per adult for ages 16-64, $1.25 for South Carolina seniors and free admission for those 15 and younger. The hours of the swimming area at the park are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Aiken State Park is located at 1145 State Park Road, Windsor.