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Mauch Chunk Lake to combat overcrowding, limit visitors

Overcrowding issues at a Carbon County park have prompted plans to keep the same thing from happening at Mauch Chunk Lake, just a few miles away.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — People were enjoying the beach on a hot July day at Mauch Chunk Lake Park on the outskirts of Jim Thorpe. 

"It was what $7 to get in today for us, and I have my two kids with us today, and honestly were going to spend the whole day here. It's going to be beautiful," Jaime Klados of Albrightsville said.

But the women say spending the day at the park owned by Carbon County isn't always possible.

"We're here in the middle, during the week, and you know not a weekend to be able to enjoy it without being in fear we can even get in if they were that busy on the weekend," Missy Olivia of Palmerton said.

"It's creating a stress on our systems to include our rangers, our traffic control. Our ability to really manage situations both on the beach and in the water," Chris Lukasevich of Carbon County said.

Lukasevich and his fellow county commissioners hope to change that. 

They plan to use the upcoming Labor Day weekend as a test run, during which only county residents and season pass holders would be able to use the park. 

"There have definitely been challenges in Beltzville which is just 8 miles from where we're standing here now. We saw a significant degradation in the quality of the visitor experience at Beltzville. The last thing we want to see occur is a similar degradation here," Lukasevich said.

Locals said they're thrilled that county officials are giving them a chance to enjoy a holiday weekend at the park.

"I think it's great to have something just for locals. I think we locals will take advantage knowing that they would have the space and freedom to come and not have to wait in line, and we can enjoy the beautiful area that we live here," Klados said.

Depending on how successful this is, the county will consider limiting visitors on holidays in the future.


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