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Few brave lake's opening

May 29, 2000|By TARA REILLY

There were more ducks than people in the lake at Greenbrier State Park on Memorial Day, but those who braved the cold water and chilly temperatures tried to make the best of it.

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The 42-acre lake reopened over the holiday weekend after being closed to swimmers for a year because of shallow levels.

Lifeguard Liz Rock of State Line, Pa. said the beach area would have been filled to capacity if it hadn't been for the dreary weather. Rain fell most of Saturday and Sunday, while temperatures stayed in the low 60s under cloudy skies throughout the day Monday.

"We didn't have many people today," Rock said. "The water temperatures are on the cooler side."

The beach and swimming area remained calm and quiet for most of the day, except for occasional quacks from ducks hanging out along the shoreline. About 10 people were found on the beach between noon and 1 p.m.

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Visitors who decided to swim tiptoed through the shallow part slowly, made it out halfway and quickly turned around and headed for shore. No more than five people were in the water at the same time.

"It's cold," Ada Quintanilla of Virginia said.

Quintanilla, a frequent visitor to the park, was hoping the lake was a little bit warmer but said she wasn't going to let that stop her from having a good time.

"I swam a lot today, and I plan to do more," she said.

The picnic areas were a little more crowded, with about 25 people enjoying cookouts and relaxing in cots strung up between trees.

"A lot of people were trying to make the most of it," Park Ranger Brenda Rohrback said. "They tried."

Rohrback said the weather turned a lot of people away.

"They tried to stay as long as they could, but a lot of people left because of the rain," she said.

About 748 cars were counted in the park from Thursday to Monday, and about 600 people spent the weekend camping, Rohrback said.

Greenbrier State Park is in the Appalachian Mountains, about 10 miles east of Hagerstown along U.S. Route 40. The park is accessible from Interstate 70 from the Myersvillle, Beaver Creek or Hagerstown interchanges.

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