Pocahontas State Park's aquatic area reopening, some park pools closed this summer

Watchful Eye

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Pocahontas State Park's Aquatic Recreation CenterCourtesy of Department of Conservation and Recreation

It’s advisable to check the status of the pools at any Virginia State Park you may consider visiting to swim or that you may consider skipping because the facilities weren’t open in the past.

The $2 million project that started in 2020 to upgrade the aquatic complex at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield is complete, and it will reopen this summer, the Department of Conservation and Recreation announced today in a media release.

DCR said the park is currently hiring staff for the Pocahontas Park swimming facilities, including an aquatic facility manager, lifeguards and pool attendants.

However, DCR also noted that swimming pools at three other Virginia State Parks will be closed for the season due to the need for repairs. They are Chippokes State Park in Surry County, Staunton River State Park in Halifax County and Natural Tunnel State Park in Scott County.

An independent engineering analysis of each pool completed in March identified significant code issues and safety concerns. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reopen them by this summer, given the considerable expense and time required to make all the necessary repairs, the DCR statement said.

"This was a difficult decision, and Virginia State Parks reviewed every possible course of action to try to open these pools," said Dr. Melissa Baker, director of Virginia State Parks in the release. "While we would prefer to have each of our state parks' swimming pools open this summer, we must keep visitor safety as our top priority."

Visitors who have already made summer camping or lodging reservations for these parks may cancel or transfer their reservations free of charge through May 6 by calling the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK and selecting Option 3.

Further, Westmoreland State Park, in Westmoreland County has posted a notice that its swimming facility is permanently closed due to major mechanical issues that cannot be resolved.

Therefore, do your research so you know before you go.

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