The Woodward News

Local News

June 29, 2012

Lakes busy for July 4th

Woodward, Okla. — Area lakes are expecting to be full for the 4th of July holiday this year.

"During the holidays we typically have the capacity crowds," said Don Underwood, chief ranger at Fort Supply Lake.

On an average holiday weekend, Underwood said they typically have 20,000 to 30,000 visitors at the lake.

As the 4th of July falls in the middle of the week this year, the ranger said he is expecting crowds both before, during and after the holiday..

Both this weekend and the weekend after the holiday has been booked, he said, noting Fort Supply Lake has 116 camp sites.

"We'll have a full house for about 9 days," he said of campsite use.

On the holiday itself, there is expected to be a lot of day use with people picnicking, swimming and enjoying other water activities.

Underwood said the lake is just a little bit below normal levels right now but he still expects to see several boats out on the water. The main boat ramp and other boat ramps will likely be used heavily, he said.

Canton Lake expects a full campground as well for the holiday period. Tim Coffey, park ranger, said their reservable sites have also been completely booked for the weekend before and the weekend after the holiday.

Coffey said they have been booked every weekend in June this year. Canton Lake has around 300 campsites. The number used to be closer to 400 sites but 77 sites were lost in a tornado last May, he said.

A fireworks display will also be viewable from the lake. The City of Canton and Lucky Star Casino are working in conjunction to hold a fireworks display on Saturday, July 7 he said.

Last year Canton Lake had about 58,000 visitors during 4th of July weekend. However, Coffey said that was a 4-day count and included repeat visitors.

Vehicles are counted every time someone visits a campground or park area, he said.

"With a family of 4 or 5 at each site you come up with about 4,000 or 5,000 people," Coffey said.

There will still be quite of few users in the middle of the week that plan to visit just for the day though he said.

The numbers were probably down last year as well because of the drought situation he said. Since the weather forecast is prediction very warm temperatures, he said he estimates the lake will be about 7 feet below normal by July 4th, but it shouldn't affect lake use such as boating or swimming.

Unlike the lakes at Fort Supply and Canton, the Little Sahara State Park is expecting a small crowd for the holiday.

"We usually don't have a lot of people come out because it's usually too hot," said Greg Grimsley, assistant manager of the park.


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