Swimming returns to Vastwood Park lake in Hancock County

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Hancock County, Ky. (WEHT) An update to a story we brought you last month on Hancock County’s efforts to restart swimming at Vastwood Park lake. Area swimmers are returning to the water this week as the park’s lake starts its first swimming season in at least six years. 

They jumped and swam back in to the lake that’s been closed off to swimmers for several years.

“I went this morning and it felt really good,” said Lilli Keown, who was one of those swimmers who hit the water before starting her shift as a lifeguard, watching others do the same.

“I thought it was good because there’s not many places to go swimming around here, and I thought it would be a good local area,” she said.

A soft opening for the return of swimming started this week at the lake, which was closed off to swimmers for at least six years due to water quality issues. The lake will open to swimming and diving four days a week from Thursday to Sunday.

“I was really excited. This is a lot closer than some of the other swimming places,” said Alyssa McReynolds of Tell City.

“This was part of my growing up was coming to Vastwood and to swim, and I would like to see it get back to where it was when I was growing up and stuff. It was a big draw back in the 80s and 90s,” adds Hancock Co. Magistrate John Mark Gray.

Its reopening was delayed a year due to the pandemic. Lake water had to be tested, and the beach was re-leveled earlier this year as part of preparations. County officials say they’re measuring its popularity this summer and seeing how operations go to determine how future swim seasons will look. Some swimmers are glad to have something closer to home back open.

“It’s closer when you, normally, have to drive a lot further, and it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other places,” said McReynolds.

(This story was originally published on June 22, 2021)

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