Low water forces swim-beach closures at three state parks
The swim beaches at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap state parks have been closed to swimming due to low water levels in the reservoirs.
Similarly, the swim beach at Ridgway State Park will close Thursday.
Senior Ranger Brian Palcer said the shorelines at Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap have receded during the summer and both swim beaches have moved with the water.
“Now we are at a point where there is more mud than sand, making the area unpleasant as well as unsafe,” said Palcer. “Because of health concerns due to the low water levels, the swim beaches at both Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap will remain closed for the remainder of the summer.”
Both Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap water levels are well below normal with Rifle Gap reservoir 30 feet down from capacity. Both reservoirs remain open for boating and fishing.
Ridgway State Park Manager Kirstin Copeland swimming isn’t safe at that beach due to low water levels that have exposed dangerous rip rap and other hazards that are normally below the surface.
With the closure of the swim beach to swimming, there is no place to swim from shore at the park.
However, the park remains open to fishing, boating and other water recreation.