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People Turned Away From Beltzville State Park

LEHIGHTON — Beltzville State Park was a popular picnic spot on Wednesday, so much so that people were turned away.

The bumper to bumper traffic to get into Beltzville State Park near Lehighton stretched for miles. When the main lot filled with 900 cars, rangers opened up another field which contained 400 vehicles.

Once the lots were filled park officials were forced to turn people away. Rangers gave out information to get to other state parks.

Rhaisa Canalas of Philadelphia said she traveled a long way only to get turned away.

“I am so mad because my family is already in there. They came from New York, we’re supposed to meet here so now I can’t go,” said Canalas.

As people would leave some vehicles were let in. For safety reasons officials don’t allow parking on the main road leading into the park. That didn’t sit well with Mercedes Peralta. She traveled from New Jersey.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened, we usually have cars parked here and we walk. That’s not right it’s supposed to be a park for family, not to do anything they want.” said Peralta.

For the people lucky enough to beat the rush, everyone seemed to have a good time. That includes Dave Schiffgens of Quakertown.

“I brought my fishing rod so a little later I’m going to go to another section of the lake and cool off and stay nice and cool,” said Schiffgens.

Some people dragged their grills to the park. Ericka Jourdan of Hazleton said it beats cooking at home.

“We have the grill, the meat, the food and the entire family, we will have a good time today,” said Jourdan.

Park officials said as far as the numbers are concerned the amount of people is comparable to the last Fourth of July.


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