REGION — Swimming on warm summer days is a popular family activity. While there are no ocean beaches in this area, there are plenty of other options available locally to enjoy a day in or near the water.

There is a small public beach on Brettun’s Pond in Livermore. The beach is located on Route 4 at the boat ramp area. Near the pond’s outlet, the bottom is sandy but very shallow.

The beach at Brettun’s Pond offers good swimming and a nice view of the pond. Visitors are asked to remove all litter when they leave.

Wilson Lake in Wilton has two areas for public swimming. Kineowatha Park, located off of High Street, has a wide sandy beach area and a docked off section that is used for swimming lessons. Plenty of space for swimming is left, making it a great family spot while siblings wait for their daily lesson.

There are several spots with picnic tables in the park for a family gathering and meal. A playground area, tennis courts, and basketball hoops provide other options for those with energy to burn.

Bass Park on Canal Street is another option. Benches and grassy areas offer spots to watch others swim or enjoy the sun after time spent in the water. Across the street there is a playground area where children can amuse themselves.

In Farmington, there are several locations on the Sandy River where people can cool off if landowner permission is given. One well-used spot is near the Fairbanks Bridge. Another often used site is in Farmington Falls near the Lucy Knowles Road. Town Manager Richard Davis said, even though the discharge water is clean and safe, swimming is not allowed near the waste water treatment plant.

Children under 11 may swim in the wading pool at Hippach Field from 4-5 p.m., Monday – Thursday, while the swim lesson program is underway. Those lessons usually begin the Monday after the school year ends and run through mid-August. Dates may be a bit different this year, so check with the Farmington Rec. Dept., 778-3464, for the specific dates.

Children ages 12-18 may enjoy a free hour of swim at the UMF Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) pool each Monday – Thursday while the swim program is in operation. That free time is also from 4-5 p.m. Youth wishing to participate must have a risk and release form on file at the FRC, that is signed by a parent/guardian, in order to enter the building. For more information, call the FRC at 778-7495 or the Farmington Rec. Dept. at 778-3464.

Another fun spot to swim and enjoy a well-known area landmark is Smalls Falls in Township E. This destination, located off Route 4 between Phillips and Rangeley, also offers a large picnic area, trails,and beautiful views of the waterfalls. On a hot summer day, the pool area beneath Smalls Falls is a great place to cool down.

In Phillips, there is an area on Toothaker Pond where public swimming is permitted. This pond is reached by taking Route 142 straight onto the Reeds Mill Road and then turning left onto Toothaker Pond Road.

Clearwater Lake on Route 143 in Industry is another local spot for public swimming. The towns of New Vineyard and Strong each have a public beach located on Porter Lake. Route 234 will take one to the New Vineyard side of the lake while those wishing to use Beeney Beach in Strong should turn onto the Pond Road from Route 234, then turn onto Beach Road. The beach is at the end of the road.

Beeney Beach is maintained by the town of Strong and is a place that many use. Another spot that is popular is an area known as The Ledges on the Sandy River. That section of the river is along Route 4 North beyond the turnoff into Strong. The Ledges are not maintained by the town. 

There are also several private beaches in this area which charge families for use.

The FRC pool is available for those with a membership or who pay the daily guest fee. Family passes may be purchased for a day ($15), the weekend (Fri-Sat., $22) or for the week ($30). The complete listing of membership rates may be found at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/frc/membership-rates/.

There are two private beaches in Weld found on the shores of Webb Lake. Dummer’s Beach, off Route 142 is a well known camping, swimming and picnic area. There is a very wide and long shore front where sandcastles can readily be created. For families with young children, this beach features a shallow water depth that extends for a long distance.

Rates at Dummer’s Beach are $4 per person and $10 for a carload (3 or more people). There is no charge for children 6 and under. A seasonal picnic pass is available for $50.

Also located in Weld is the Mt. Blue State Park Beach. This beach also features a large sandy area. There are many picnic spots located nearby for families and friends to enjoy a cookout. A flock of ducks can often be found nearby waiting to grab any spills or handouts.

At this beach, rates are $4 for those 12 years or older and $1 for children ages 5-11. Anyone younger than 5 or older than 65 get in for free. Season passes for a vehicle are available for $70 and individual passes are $35. 

Swimming is a great summer activity for people of all ages and abilities. Plan to visit one or more of these local spots this year.

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