TOBYHANNA STATE PARK — Swimmers at one state park in the Poconos won’t be able to hit the beach this weekend due to high bacteria levels.
This sunny weather is just what visitors in the Poconos would hope for on this holiday weekend, but anyone looking to cool off with a swim at Tobyhanna State Park is going to be a little disappointed.
The beach is closed until further notice.
No swimming signs are posted at Tobyhanna State Park as the Labor Day weekend gets underway.
Solange Dophin and her family and friends from New Jersey arrived, towels and swimsuits in hand, only to be disappointed.
“Unfortunately we can’t get in the water, but we’ll find other things to do,” Dophin said. “It’s OK, we’ll make the best out of it.”
High bacteria levels in the water closed the beach Wednesday.
Another family was visiting, suited up with life jackets ready to cast a line in the lake.
“We’re here to go on a boat and fish and try to catch some fish,” said Andrew Ortego, age 8.
But what these three brothers were really hoping for was some swimming afterwards, not knowing the water was off limits.
“I like to go underwater and get myself all wet and splash around.”
Park officials say the readings could be elevated due to human error, animal waste, or even equipment malfunctions, but until the tests come back with normal bacteria levels, the signs stay up.
Even on the rare occasions when Tobyhanna State Park is closed to swimming, park officials say there’s still plenty to do for families looking for fun.
“They’ll go boating, they’ll go fishing, we have a campground that’s slated to be pretty full this weekend. We’ve got lots of trails and playgrounds for the kids,” said Tobyhanna State Park manager Jen Bowman.
Caroline Shuford took her two little ones out in a canoe, not too disappointed they couldn’t dive into the lake.
“No swimming for us today, not strong enough swimmers for the lake, I don’t think.”
They, like many others, say there’s enough of nature’s beauty to enjoy from a boat or the shore line, while they say goodbye to summer this Labor Day weekend.
“We’re very excited. This is a beautiful, beautiful park, so we’re really excited to be here.”
Tobyhanna State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset through the holiday weekend.
For anyone who would like to still swim, nearby Gouldsboro State Park’s beach is open through Labor Day.