Splish splash, Flandrau swim pond opens
Pond lifeguard hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday
NEW ULM — Dozens of children and parents found relief from the toasty weather Friday as the Flandrau State Park sand-bottomed swim pond opened for the season Friday.
Dan Maurice of Willmar said his family were camping in Fort Ridgely State Park when they decided to wade in Fort Ridgely Creek as the temperature climbed past 80 degrees.
“I remember visiting Flandrau and Fort Ridgely State Parks when I was a kid 30 years ago. Now, we’re letting our girl appreciate it too,” said Maurice. “The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has done a good job improving the parks. We always enjoyed camping and hiking at both parks and visiting New Ulm.”
Tyler Cardwell of New Ulm said he recently moved from Colorado and was impressed with the sand-bottomed pond that gives the feeling of a beach too.
Abby Robin of Gibbon said she enjoys swimming, hiking and skiing in the park with her young son Sky.
DNR Environmental Educator and Interpretive Naturalist Kelsey Moe exhibited wings of Minnesota birds, including a red-tailed hawk, wild turkey, turkey talons, mallard feet and 15 manufactured birds that sounded bird calls under a tent near the park beach house.
Swimming pond lifeguard hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The swim pond is closed Monday through Wednesday. The pond closes at 7 p.m. for maintenance. Swimming is not allowed after 7 p.m, Thursday through Sunday and when closed Monday through Wednesday.
Anybody with infectious or communicable disease or open blisters or cuts are prohibited from using the pond. All swimmers must wear swimsuits in the water. No street clothes.
Infants must wear swim diapers that can be purchased at the park office.
Only Coast Guard-approved flotation devices are allowed (life jackets). No rafts, wings, tubes, noodles and kick-boards.
Hard balls may be used with permission of the life guards during low use. Lifejacket rentals are available in the park office.
No running, shoving, dunking, intoxication or profanity is allowed. No food or beverages allowed in the water. Glass containers must be kept outside the pond sidewalk.
Pets are not allowed within the fencing and on the beach. Pets must stay outside the fencing/fencing markers, are not allowed within signs between the beach house and swimming pond.
Intoxicating beverages are not allowed in state parks.
Children age 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult in the water. Children 7 and older must be accompanied by an adult on the sand or in the water. Watching children from a picnic table, reading or napping does not fulfill this requirement.
For more information, call the park at 233-1260 daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If no one is available, please leave a message.
The Flandrau State Park Office schedule for June is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The office is closed Monday through Wednesday. Hours may vary based on staff availability.