Ramsey Creek Beach, Mecklenburg County’s only public beach, opened Saturday amid hopes for a better experience this year, after the beach debuted last year to heavy criticism for traffic and other problems.
The beach opened in Cornelius on Lake Norman last year during Memorial Day weekend to large crowds of families. It was the first swimming beach in a Mecklenburg County park since the 1970s, and more than 68,000 people attended last summer, causing overcrowding.
In addition to a delayed traffic light installation and a lack of proper pedestrian walkways, the beach caused heavy congestion in the area and was a concern for residents who complained about people parking on their property.
A park official said the beach was opening Saturday for its second season, earlier than last year, as a way to fix any issues that arise before Memorial Day weekend.
The county added several features for the beach’s 2017 season in hopes of easing concerns of residents, some of whom prepared for the potential onslaught of beach-goers by placing traffic cones in their driveways, WSOC-TV reported.
WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, reported 50 new parking spaces were added to the beach. There were also more signs posted by park rangers and Cornelius Police to notify drivers not to park on private property.
A free shuttle service is also being offered from the Huntersville-North Cross Park and Ride to the beach to Labor Day weekend, WBTV reported. Shuttle riders will have free access to the beach. For walk-in beach-goers, the beach is otherwise $5 for people 14 years and older, and $3 for children ages 6 to 13. Children under the age of 6 get in free.
For more details about parking costs, go to the county website.
Additional security features have also been added to the park this year, as security cameras were installed for 24/7 monitoring by Cornelius Police.
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS