Thursday, July 28, 2011

Travel Advisory: The new and not so improved Lydgate Ponds

The ponds at Lydgate Beach Park have been touted as the best and safest place for families with young children to snorkel on Kauai. Over time however, silt and sand have filled the once deep ponds and the rock wall fell into disrepair. Recently, the ponds were closed for dredging and improvements and the surrounding beaches were fortified with the sand that was removed from the ponds.

Over a month has passed since the ponds reopened, but neither the visibility nor the fish have returned. The engineers have stated that this is the normal course, but no one is certain when the turbid waters will clear. As a result, vacationers looking for family snorkeling should steer clear of Lydgate this summer and head to other spots like Poipu Beach, Salt Pond or Anini.

This does not mean that families should skip Lydgate all together. The playground is still one of the places for kids on the island and is near guaranteed to wear them out. Heavy rains this year have also brought an abundance of driftwood onto the nearby beaches. While this excess debris makes for unsafe swimming, it can also bring hours of family fun. Looking down the beach you will find countless creations constructed by visiting families.

Additionally, after years of anticipation, Lydgate should finally be open for camping before the end of summer. According to the County Director of Parks and Recreation, there will be a small fee, but it will provide another area for locals and visitors to camp on the East side of the Island. The new camping sites should also alleviate some of the difficulty in getting a camping permit during the busy season.

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