Stay fit and cool at area lakes, pools
August 28, 2008 · Updated 12:22 PM
The dog days of August are here.
And in the timeless summer tradition, people flock to the beach to cope with the heat.
According to Rich Patton, park operations supervisor for Snohomish County Parks and Recreation, its the versatility of the area beaches that attracts families to swim in the lakes despite opportunities to swim at local pools.
We have a lot to offer out in our parks. At Twin Lakes, we offer hiking around the lakes. Kids can bring their bicycles too, he said. You can make it a family outing, have a picnic out there, things you cant do at a pool.
With the Puget Sound and the Seven Lakes area a short drive away, theres plenty of water. But the county manages only a couple beaches in the area Twin Lakes, and the recently opened park on Lake Goodwin on Lakewood Avenue.
Patton said his office encourages swimmers to use sanctioned beaches, which have perks over some of the other areas. In addition to areas delegated specifically for swimming, the local parks are much easier to access and often safer than competing with watercraft for a piece of the water.
The park on Lake Goodwin was designed to be family friendly with a lengthy stretch of shallow water for small children, he added.
The park is the smaller of two beaches on Lake Goodwin. Wenberg State Park has about 75 yards of sandy beach, attracting families and swimmers of all ages.
The price tag on the beaches is another factor driving swimmers to the lakes.
None of the county lakes have lifeguards, Patton said, but steps are taken to contribute to public safety, including rangers patrolling the lakes and a loaner lifejacket program at Twin Lakes.
He added that authorities monitor the health of the lakes to ensure the safety of swimmers who go into the water.
For other swimmers who prefer a more controlled swimming area, pools are an attractive alternative, said Randy Cummings with Stillaguamish Athletic Club.
We have a lot of people who choose it because its their only form of workout year round, a lot of seniors who have mobility problems and so forth, Cummings explained. He added that with pool depths and settings clearly visible put swimmers minds at ease.
Wendy Bart, the executive director for the Marysville YMCA, echoed the sentiment.
One benefit of coming to a pool like at the YMCA is we have a lifeguard at the pool, Bart said. These days not a lot of the lakes are supervised by a lifeguard, which I think can be frightening for a lot of people with little kids.
Bart added that at the YMCA, which offers lessons and workouts in the pool, theres a social element that comes with the routine of classes.
Stillaguamish Athletic Club and the YMCA offer community swims to the public at reduced prices for non-members. The pool at Marysville-Pilchuck High School also keeps open swim hours.