POINT PLEASANT — With continued renovations and new additions, Krodel Park has become a place for everyone to enjoy some outside recreation.
“It’s been amazing, the playground came, the walking trail, the splash pad, the Yak Shak, we’ve increased our camping facility and with that that being said, it has just brought the park to a new era,” said Brian Billings, Mayor of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Residents spent years raising funds for a new playground facility at the park and then funds to add a splash pad, replacing the dilapidated swimming pool, came next.
Billings said he cannot hide his excitement over Krodel’s new additions.
“I like to tell people it’s the best hidden treasure in West Virginia,” Billings said.
Shannon Pearson, manager of the Yak Shak and splash pad, said the Splash Pad is free for all Mason County residents and just one dollar for those living outside of the county. A driver’s license or bill is all that is needed for a resident to enter the spray area.
The Splash Pad also offers parties after the area closes. Pearson said the parties have been a great success. For a two-hour time slot, it costs $100 to rent the water area. This includes a staff person in case anything happens and a refrigerator to hold a cake or any other needs.
The Splash Pad is open every day unless there is storm with thunder and/or lightening.
The addition of the Yak Shak brought paddle boats back to the park, something residents said was a missed activity.
“We have lifejackets and whistles and somebody to help you onto the kayak or the paddle boat to launch you,” Pearson said.
There are currently eight single kayaks, two tandem kayaks and two paddle boats with the possibility of more in the future.
Pearson said boat rental prices were recently lowered. Paddle boats and kayaks can be rented by the hour.
A single kayak is $8, a tandem is $12 and a paddle boat is $10. A group rate of six kayaks for four hours is $120, but if more is needed or for other accommodations, Pearson said visitors can call her to work out a price and details.
Boats are available earlier or can be reserved upon request. Rentals are available Thursday through Sunday.
Both the Yak Shak and the Splash Pad have small concession stands. The Yak Shak also offers bait for fishers, something new the group is trying.
Recently a grant allowed the walking trail around Krodel to be paved.
Fishing and the walking trail are open year-round, with fishing following the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) guidelines, the Mason County Tourism website said.
The 22-acre lake contains trout, bass and bluegill to be caught by fishers and is stocked by the DNR. There is also newly renovated handicap accessible dock available.
The park has added additional campsites to the campgrounds bringing it to 64 full hookup sites available between the beginning of April and the end of October and 14 winter sites are available, according to the Mason County Tourism website.
Each concrete camping site has a concrete runner and a patio area with a picnic table. A bath house and laundry facilities are also available.
Fort Randolph is also available for visitors to check out and learn some Mason County history.
Billings said there is some talk about adding more things to the park, but he did not want to give false hope to those early discussions that may not go above just that, discussions.
“We’ve discussed different things, but nothing concrete,” Billings said. “We have other ideas in the planning stages, but we have not moved forward at this time.”
While nothing has started to move forward yet, Billings is hopeful in the direction the park is going.
“There’s just so much more that can happen out there,” Billings said. “When you see people come from Gallia County; Meigs County; Jackson County, West Virginia; Putnam County, West Virginia; plus our locals it’s telling us that we’re on the right track. [We’ve] done some good things with that park.”
The park also houses an indoor facility — the clubhouse — with a kitchen and restrooms available to rent, along with a variety of picnic shelters.
Billings is proud of the work everyone has put into the park to make it more inviting to visitors and residents alike.
“We’ve been able to, as of right now, remove the geese. Not saying they won’t be back, that’s inevitable,” Billings said. “Fort Randolph and the new Claflin Corner, with each new addition this thing is rising in notoriety because we’re offering more and more. We hope to have other things happen to Krodel Park [in the future].”
Billings is already looking down the road and is hopeful that one day Krodel Park can offer even more.
“This is something I think we need to do, explore and bring more recreational leisure time activity to Krodel Park,” Billings said.
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Brittany Hively is a freelance writer and graduate of Marshall University, with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalism.