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Take advantage of county parks this summer

My Opinion
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer

With this month being national park and recreation month, there’s no better time to take advantage of the Harrison County parks system, which is second to none in the Hoosier state.
For the extremely hot July days when being by the pool or lake all day sounds like the best idea, the county has quite a few options.
First, in Corydon, the Olympic-size May & Joe Rhoads Memorial Pool, located at Harrison Poolside Park, is open from noon to 7 p.m. until Labor Day (weekends only after school begins). The pool includes a diving board and children’s wading pool, with lounge chairs, dressing/shower rooms and concession stand on the pool premises and sand volleyball courts, tennis court, playground and picnic pavilion at the park. Adult and child swim classes are offered from 10 a.m. to noon. The pool, along with all other swim facilities in the parks department, is closed on Mondays, due to budgetary constraints. However, pool reservations are available after normal hours for special events.
Located in the southern portion of the county is South Harrison Park, described by the county parks’ website as the best kept secret in Harrison County. The park is also home to an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool with a diving board and kids’ wading pool. South Harrison, located on 220-acres between Elizabeth and Laconia, has more to do than just swim. The park has primitive and modern campsites, picnic pavilions, lighted tennis courts, basketball and sand volleyball courts, lighted baseball diamonds, nature trails, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a shower house, RV disposal station and an observatory to gaze at the stars and other celestial beings.
At the other end of the county, just outside of Palmyra, Buffalo Trace Park has a large beach and swimming area on a 30-acre man-made lake that could help cool down the hottest summer afternoons. The park, which, like South Harrison, has camping available, is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Other amenities for the lake include canoe, paddle boat and row boat rental and fishing. The park also has a paved and lighted walking trail, petting zoo, picnic pavilions, gazebo, ball diamond, tennis courts, basketball court, sand volleyball court, fitness area, horseshoe pits, 18-hole disc golf course, picnic tables with grills, playgrounds and RV disposal station.
Hayswood Nature Reserve west of Corydon has a fishing lake and a walking trail along Indian Creek to help visitors keep cool. Other amenities include 200-plus acres of pristine nature area, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, nature trails, horseshoe pits and picnic and play areas. Reservations are recommended for the picnic pavilions.
The other parks in the county’s system include Battle of Corydon Park just south of Corydon, Noe’s Rest Park between Rosewood and Evan’s Landing and Walter Q. Gresham Park at Lanesville.
Also, although not a part of the county’s system, there is O’Bannon Woods State Park located in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest, which has a full water park.
Whichever Harrison County park visitors decide to visit, it’s sure to be time well spent while only taking a little gas to get there.