GREENVILLE – Wayne Lakes Beach will be open for the remainder of summer. The lake beach in Wayne Lakes provides a unique experience in Darke County. Located on Algonquin Lake, one of 18 lakes in the small community, Wayne Lakes Beach offers a complete day-at-the-beach experience – weather permitting. With the long-lasting rainy weather this year, the beach has had to be closed more than this year’s new management had intended. The Village of Wayne Lakes is managing the Swim Beach part of the operation and the Friends of Wayne Lakes (FoWL), a local non-profit organization, is managing the Beach Concessions. “FoWL agreed to manage the concessions, in part to save the Village the operating costs for that. Since the beach was closed last year, we wanted to try a different management approach to have it open again this year,” said Denise Wetzel, mayor of Wayne Lakes. “Having FoWL manage the concessions, being open only on weekends for only 12 weeks and charging the $4 entry fee were part of the plan to determine if just the swimming part of the beach could be operated without significant loss. Results this year will impact plans for opening next year.”
FoWL rented the concessions building with the intention to serve prepared foods, utilizing the concessions kitchen that was remodeled prior to 2018 for that purpose. However, approval from the Darke County Health Department to do so is still pending. “When we started this year, we weren’t aware of a concern for the septic system that apparently is related to serving prepared foods,” said Wetzel. “Now we’re trying to understand exactly what is needed and the associated costs, so Council has enough information to decide if the upgrade that may be needed is something that can be considered for this year.” The Beach Concessions continues to offer pre-packaged snacks, ice cream products and drinks. Even though prepared food is not being offered, outside food or drinks will not be permitted, so visitors should plan accordingly.
“One goal for this year is to limit activities in the parking area that in the past had been concerning, even requiring sheriff interventions. That’s the reason for basically a no re-entry policy; when visitors leave through the beach gate they’re expected to leave the parking area, no loitering,” Wetzel explained. “We want families, and everyone, to be able to come and enjoy the beach, and for the beach to be a good neighbor to those who live nearby.”
Wayne Lakes Beach is open noon until 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the summer – weather permitting – until the last day open on Sunday, Aug. 11. For the 4th of July weekend, the beach will also be open on Thursday, July 4. Be sure to check the Wayne Lakes Beach Facebook page (with the sun and palm tree logo) for updated weather-related, beach-open information.