FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Over 2,000 beachgoers enjoyed Smith Lake Beach’s opening weekend events that included games, bouncers, water slides and giveaways.
The beach officially opened for the summer season on May 27 and will operate through Labor Day weekend.
“It’s great to be able to open the beach again this year,” said James Day, chief of outdoor recreation. “We’ve been working hard during the off season to bring new amenities to the beach for our Soldiers and their Families to enjoy.”
The newest amenity to the beach is the Aqua Park. The Aqua Park is a series of interconnected-floating inflatables with various obstacles for beachgoers to overcome.
“The park is a nice addition and I had a lot of fun running through the obstacles and jumping into the lake,” said Noah McDonald, a beachgoer during the opening weekend. “However, I’m really looking forward to when the cable park opens.”
The cable park is a cable system that pulls skiers, wake boarders and knee boarders around the lake. In addition, there are several obstacles and jumps that participants can enjoy as they are pulled around the lake.
The cable park was badly damaged when the dam was breached in 2016 due to Hurricane Matthew and has not yet been reopened. It has been receiving major repairs and updates during the off season. All obstacles have been replaced and major renovations to the boat dock are in progress.
“We are looking forward to opening the cable park later this summer once all repairs have been completed,” said Day. “We know the community misses having it and are really excited for when we are able to safely reopen it.”
The beach is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and on federal holidays through Labor Day weekend. It is open to Department of Defense ID cardholders and their guests, with a limit of two guests per family.
Pricing for entry and for the various amenities at the beach can be found on the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation website.
In addition to the beach, Smith Lake has a variety of other amenities for Soldiers and their Families, retirees, veterans and Department of Defense civilians.
Smith Lake Park is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk and offers pavilions with grills, five basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two Americans’ with Disability Act compliant playgrounds, and nearby mountain bike and hiking trails.
It is also home to the Army Travel Campground. The campground is open to DoD ID cardholders and their guests. It features cabins, recreational vehicle sites, tent camping sites, bath houses and communal fire pits with a view.
Lastly, the brand new Smith Lake Outdoor Recreation Center is another amenity offered. This center can be used to host special events, meetings and other functions. It offers two breakout rooms, three activity rooms, a screened in porch with a view of the lake and a kitchen that can be used for catering.
“We are always striving to provide the best experience for our Soldiers and Families,” said Day. “Their quality of life is one of our biggest priorities and we are happy to contribute through quality programs, events and amenities.”
For more information about the beach go to https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/smith-lake-recreation-area/smith-lake-beach.
For more information about Smith Lake Park, Campground and Recreation Center go to https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/smith-lake-recreation-area.