The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is preparing for another very busy holiday weekend at Beltzville State Park.
"Our crowds exceeded the capacity of our parking lots on Memorial Day weekend, and with the anticipated nice weather for the upcoming weekend, we are expecting a similar situation this Sunday and Monday," Park Manager Kevin Koflanovich said. "Our first concern is that our visitors are safe."
Koflanovich reminded visitors that parking is not permitted on Pohopoco Drive, the road that leads to the main entrance of the 3,002-acre park.
State Police will be assisting at Beltzville during the busy weekend. State Police said that cars that are parked illegally along Pohopoco Drive are subject to being towed at the owner's expense. Illegally parked vehicles could make it difficult for emergency vehicles to reach the area.
"Many residents of the Lehigh Valley and Hazleton areas travel to enjoy the picnicking, swimming, boating and hiking available at the park and we are happy to welcome them," Koflanovich said. "When visitors park along the road, however, it creates an unsafe mix of vehicles and pedestrians."
Beltzville's parking lot has 904 spots, plus the capacity to park an additional 400 cars in an adjacent field if conditions allow. Gates to the parking area open at 8 a.m., and on busy holiday weekends the lots can quickly reach capacity. The gates are closed when that occurs.
Koflanovich said if visitors are turned away, additional opportunities for outdoor fun and swimming beaches are available at Hickory Run State Park, and Tuscarora State Park in Schuylkill County.