ATLANTA - Clear Lake State Park employees have been working on a disc golf course called "The Memory" for the parks day use area since fall 2012, and according to Parks and Recreation Ranger Jay Bischer, the hard work has paid off. The disc golf course opened up for public use just before July 4. The course includes nine holes with distances ranging from 250 feet to 400 feet, and is fully ADA accessible with hard-packed trails throughout the entire course.
"The course has been really popular since it opened," Bischer said. "We've gotten good reviews. They all seem to like the challenge of it."
The course at Clear Lake State Park is unique because it winds around the trees, and isn't in fields like most other disc golf courses.
"Our course threads through the woods," Bischer said. "It starts in an area that used to be an old Civilian Conservation Core camp, and we have different names for all the holes with plaques describing a featured plant or animal. We have an elk hole, red pine hole and Kirtland's warbler hole, just to name a few."
The construction of the course was funded by the Parks and Recreation Chiefs Challenge Program that supports new ideas to attract more visitors to state parks. Most of the labor to design and build the course was provided by park employees, along with some help from maintenance crews to clear the brush.
"There are 2,545 feet of course," Bischer said. "You can bring your own Frisbees to the course, or we sell starter kits with a driver, mid-range and putter frisbee for beginners at the park store."
The course is open during park hours, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and everyone is welcome to play.
"The disc golf course is also open year round," Bischer said. "It's something people really enjoy playing in the winter time."
In order to enter the park, visitors must have a parks and recreation passport or pay for a daily pass. There is no cost to use the course or the day use area.
For newcomers to the sport of disc golf, the park will be offering a Disc Golf 101 course on the basics of how to play on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. The class is free for everyone, but in order to enter the park, visitors must have a recreation pass.
Another class offered in August is a stand up paddle-boarding class on Aug. 13, from 12-3 p.m. The class will highlight how to properly stand on a paddle board and some of the exciting opportunities paddle boarding has to offer around Michigan.
On Aug. 10, visitors will have the unique opportunity to enjoy meteor showers on the beaches of Clear Lake. The state park is hosting a Meteors and Smores event at 9 p.m. in the state park campground.
"We'll have smores and lay on the beach and watch the meteor showers," Bischer said. "Every year around that time is great for watching meteors."
For more information on the latest opportunities at Clear Lake State Park, call the park at 785-4388, or visit the parks website at www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails and search for the get outdoors calander.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.