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Friday, May 17, 2013
Find your flip-flops and floats: The beach at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park in Moneta will open on May 24 at 10 a.m . in time for Memorial Day weekend.
It will continue to operate on a weekend schedule until June 9.
From June 13 to Aug. 11, beachgoers will have daily access from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. On Aug. 12, the weekend schedule will resume before the beach closes for the season Sept. 2.
Beach users will be charged a $2 fee; children 3 and younger will be admitted for free. The charge was reinstituted this year; from 2011- 12, admission was free. In 2009 and 2010, visitors paid $3.50 to use the beach.
Guests 14 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This beach is open only when lifeguards are on duty, and swimming only is permitted in the designated swimming area.
Visitors will enter at the center gate, where a lifeguard will provide them with a wristband. Daily attendance will be monitored. Marcia Cramblitt, recreation programs manager for the Franklin County Parks & Recreation Department, said those planning to go to the beach can call her office or log onto the website to find out if the beach is full. Those planning to bring large groups are encouraged to check before going.
Lifeguards this year are Kayla Anderson, Sarah Bidwell, Ashley Dillon, Taylor Greenway, Megan Henderson, Nick Montgomery, Stephanie Perdue, Nick Weir, Jessica Whitlow and Hannah Wood.
The beach, which first opened in 2008, attracted 15,662 users in 2012, Cramblitt said. It is one of two public-access beaches at Smith Mountain Lake. The other, at Smith Mountain State Park, is in Bedford County. Other features at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park include a playground, picnic facilities, a 1.5-mile hiking/walking trail and a fully accessible fishing pier.
To get to the SML Community Park from Westlake Corner, turn onto Virginia 616 (Scruggs Road). Drive 4.7 miles and turn left onto Bluewater Drive. Drive 1.1 miles and turn right onto Saunders Farm Road. Drive 0.4 miles and turn right at the stop sign onto Winding Waters Drive. Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto Parkway Avenue. Drive one mile to the park entrance at the cul-de-sac.
For more information, call 483-9293 or visit www.franklincountyva.gov/parks.
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