Newly-renovated Swimming Pool Open at Berwind Lake WMA; Free Swimming on Wednesdays

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Berwind Wildlife Management Area, tucked away in the terrain of McDowell County, has a newly-renovated swimming pool now open. This recreational area is popular with area residents and guests are invited to cool off here all summer.

To make a splash and encourage pool use, Superintendent Lynn Bright announces free swimming on Wednesdays to celebrate great outdoor summer fun – swimming. “It’s our way to say ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in getting the Berwind swimming pool renovated and to welcome our guests and area residents to enjoy swimming this summer.”

The pool, originally built in 1967, had been closed for several years due to its poor condition.  “Typically, an outdoor pool in the climate we experience in West Virginia will need a major overhaul about every 25 years”, said District Administrator Robert Beanblossom.

Danhill Construction Company of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, performed the work under a $516,000 contract. Repairs included a new circulation system, repouring of concrete walls and floors, and installation of a pool liner.  Berwind employees Ellis Billings, Troy Cooper, and Tony Mason, under the direction of Superintendent Lynn Bright, have been busy renovating the bathhouse.

Superintendent Bright also adds that local residents have proven to be extraordinarily helpful.  Groups such as the Big Creek People in Action from Caretta, West Virginia; the War Volunteer Fire Department; and other residents have volunteered their time at the pool.  Bright notes that the Division of Natural Resources extends its appreciation to the public for its patience in awaiting repairs and encourages use of the pool again.

In addition to swimming pool renovations, an additional $40,000 has recently been appropriated to purchase new playground equipment for the area. Berwind Lake WMA offers hiking, hunting, fishing, picnicking, and other forms of day use recreational activities as well as a small campground.  It is a popular area for walking and getting outdoors.

Bewind Lake WMA is located near War. To get there, take I-77 northbound and southbound: take I-77 to Princeton, Exit 9, WV Rt. 460 West. Stay on 460 West to Tazwell, VA. At Exit 2, take WV Rt. 16 North. Stay on 16 North to War. Once in War, go to the end of the city limits and make a left across the bridge. Follow the road to the park entrance (about 3 miles). Make a right into the park entrance and follow signs to facilities.

For information about Bewind Lake WMA or any West Virginia state park or forest, go online, or 1-800 CALL WVA and ask for the brochure that lists all WV state parks and forests.