Tygart Lake offers free way to cool off during hot summer days


GRAFTON—As many of you may know, Tygart Lake State Park has kicked off the summer season with plenty of fun for the whole family. Some may not know that the lake offers a free swimming area, perfect for taking a dip on a hot summer day.

Nestled in the park is a beach area that is open Wednesday through Sunday, until mid-August. After that, the area will be open on weekends only, until Labor Day weekend. Don’t fret beach goers, the swimming area will be open on Labor Day.

The hours are 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but swimmers need to be off the beach area at 5:30 p.m., so that the area can be cleared by 6:00 p.m., to allow workers to clean up.

The beach area is free of charge, but is swim at your own risk, as there are no lifeguards on duty.

No flotation devices are allowed, and wave wings and life jackets have to be coast guard approved. The park does offer a life jacket loaner program, free of charge.

In addition, coolers are not permitted on the beach area and no alcoholic beverages or glass bottles are allowed. Upon entering the beach area, coolers will be checked and must be left on the grass area above the beach.

Also, no pets are allowed, and there is a no smoking policy.

The beach area features a gift shop, snacks, a new bath and shower area, picnic and grill areas, volleyball, horseshoe and Bocce ball courts.

Park Superintendent Jim Browning expressed, “We are trying to offer a safe and controlled environment for families to enjoy. The beach has become very popular among residents. We have been very busy but are happy that families are enjoying the beach.”

If you want to get out on the water, Tygart Lake also offers one person and tandem kayak rentals.

Kayak rental rates are as follows, one-two hours $20, half day 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., $40, full day 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., $55, multi-day first day is $55, additional consecutive day is $35 and overnight is $75 with return by 10:00 a.m.

Kayaks, boats and jet skis are not permitted within the designated beach area. Guests also not permitted to fish in the area, as a safety precaution.

After spending the day on the water, be sure to stop at The Lodge and get a bite to eat.

The Lodge, Tygart Lake State Park’s restaurant and newest addition to the grounds, officially opened its doors on Monday, and according the Browning, the menu has something for everyone.

“The menu has many traditional favorites,” commented Browning. “It will be the perfect place to get a bite to eat while enjoying the day at the park.”

The hours of operation are 8:00-11:00 a.m. for breakfast, 12:00-3:00 p.m. for lunch and dinner will be available from 5:00-8:00 p.m., and on the Friday and Saturday until 8:30 p.m.

For more information or questions contact Tygart Lake State Park, at 304-265-6144 or by visiting www.tygartlake.com.

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