Don’t want to drive? Take a dive at local beaches

Don’t want to drive? Take a dive at local beaches

Swimming at Georgiaville pond offers a beach atmosphere, with children playing and first-come, first-served picnic tables.

Can’t stand the heat? Local beaches and ponds offer cooling relief during the summer months.

Smithfield

The town is home to two beaches with restrooms and handicap accessibility. Both locations have full-time lifeguards on site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

The sandbar peninsula that is Greenlake Beach, located on Slacks Pond Reservoir, is open to Smithfield residents for swimming from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The beach was previously closed for four years due to blue-green algae and lack of lifeguard staffing, but has been opened again this year with a clean bill of health.

Smithfield Parks, Recreation and Grounds director Robert Caine said the beach was reopened three years ago, but struggled to remain open after toxic algae grew on the pond last summer.

“The water is tested all the time,” Caine said, adding that the town tests the water monthly, while the Slacks Pond Associates test it more frequently.

Caine said the beach is underutilized, and emphasized that the beautiful location is perfect for a calm, quiet and relaxing day.

Greenlake offers swimming and fishing, but no boating. Access is free with proof of Smithfield residency.

Georgiaville Pond Beach, located on Stillwater Road, is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day as well. Day and seasonal passes are available for purchase, though there is no charge for seniors or veterans. A two-year seasonal pass costs $10 for residents, and $20 for non-resident adults. Day passes are $2 for residents, and $4 for non-residents. Boaters can purchase separate stickers for their boats, vehicles and trailers.

Caine suggested heading to Georgiaville for the “beach atmosphere” of children running and playing in the sand, and first-come, first-served access to picnic tables. He said the town adopted the state trash policy of take-in, take-out.

The year has been successful and safe so far, said Caine, but he warned swimmers to not attempt to swim to restricted islands in the pond. There have not been any drownings this year, but attempts to cross the pond have proven fatal in the past.

“Just don’t do it. First, it’s not allowed, there’s signs everywhere saying don’t do it,” Caine said, “It’s tough stopping people, I used to do it when I was a kid.”

Scituate

With new Recreation Director David Pannone in place, Scituate residents will enjoy the perks of a manicured beach at Hope Pond on Ryefield Road. Pannone said renovations at the recently named Lil Salisbury Beach at Hope Pond brought the beach back to where it was in its heyday.

“It’s really playable,” Pannone said of the beach, which has new sand.

So far, there have been no problems with the water this year, according to Pannone, and it is tested weekly. The pond is open to Scituate residents after 5 p.m. on weekdays, and all day during the weekends.

As a last bit of advice, Pannone reminded residents that swimming in the Scituate Reservoir is prohibited.

Glocester

The two town beaches are open for the 2018 season in Glocester from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Spring Grove Beach, 170 Spring Grove Road, located at the DiFonzo Recreation Area, and the Marion Irons Beach, 601 Shake Hill Road, are open to Glocester residents. For access, residents can pick up Glocester stickers at Town Hall, 1145 Putnam Pike, free of charge.