Because of an unusually dry winter and a paltry spring run-off, the water level is very low at the reservoir at Ridgway State Park, prompting officials to close the swim beach.
The sand area will be open for play and wading at the water’s edge, but swimming will not be allowed, said Joe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“This is the first time the swim beach has closed before July Fourth, and we’re disappointed,” said park manager Kirstin Copeland. “But there are still plenty of water activities at the park to enjoy.”
The boat ramp for motorized craft is open and will remain so throughout the summer. All boaters are reminded that their craft must be cleaned, drained and dry before entering Ridgway State Park. Aquatic nuisance species inspections are conducted from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
Handlaunched craft, such as canoes and paddleboards, can be launched at the Dallas Creek area on the south side of the park. Everyone who goes on the water must follow regulations for life jackets, lights and signaling devices.
Ridgway State Park, about 20 miles south of Montrose, offers camping, yurts, playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, boating and river fishing. Entry to the park is $7 per vehicle; rates for camping range from $20 to $30. A $70 annual pass provides entrance to all 41 Colorado state parks.
For more information, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Ridgway or call (970) 626-5822.