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DCNR evaluating overcrowding at Beltzville

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials today met with local legislators to update them on plans for a study related to the local community and visitor experience at the 3,002-acre Beltzville State Park in Carbon County.

Especially on summer holiday weekends, crowds often exceed the capacity of the park’s parking lots and other facilities.

“With the help of a contractor, DCNR will be talking with different stakeholders who live and work around, and visit the park, about the challenges that the park’s popularity presents, and about whether they have any suggested solutions,” DCNR Director of the Bureau of State Parks John Hallas said.

Ann Toole of Toole Recreation Planning met with state Rep. Doyle Heffley and staff from the office of state Sen. John Yudichak. Toole will be interviewing stakeholders for their perspective on the challenges and solutions.

The information gathered will be used to create a public survey that will be conducted through Penn State.

Starting in mid-summer of this year, Penn State representatives will visit the park to survey visitors in person through Labor Day weekend, and would anticipate returning in 2019 to survey from Memorial Day weekend through mid-summer.

The land at the park is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, and managed for recreation by DCNR.

Attractions at Beltzville State Park include Pohopoco Creek, an excellent trout stream that feeds the 949-acre Beltzville Lake, which is a destination for boaters. Other attractions include the 525-feet sand swimming beach; and picnic areas.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks, visit the DCNR website at www.dcnr.pa.gov.