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Lake Stephens boasts new additions

By JESSICA FARRISH

The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Lake Stephens is quickly becoming a popular wedding venue in Raleigh County, and new entertainment features are making it a go-to destination for families seeking a G-rated environment for their summer vacations, county officials said.

The Rocket and Iceberg add adventure to the Aqua Water Park at Lake Stephens.
(Photo by Rick Barbero)

Raleigh County Commissioner Dave Tolliver and Michelle Walker, director of the Raleigh County Recreation Authority, said bridal parties book the newly added gazebo in the backfield of the Pavilion a year in advance.

“In the summertime, it’s lots of green, beautiful greenery,” Walker said Wednesday. “In fall, the leaves are turning and falling, and you can see the lake.”

Weddings for 2017 started at the gazebo in April, and the spot is already booked through November, she said.

With a gazebo rental, bridal parties have access to the air-conditioned Pavilion building, chairs, tables, the gazebo and a full-appliance kitchen.

“You can have someone cater it,” she said. “That’s completely up to you.”

The hill above the beach was developed in 2016 with a Splash Pad and a new concession area.

The Splash Pad offers two waterslides and a variety of water sprays to keep kids 14 and under cool from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Walker said. Kids pay $5 for all-day access. Children must be accompanied by an adult, but adults are admitted free with a child’s purchase.

The Splash Pad is also rented for after-hour parties. New additions are expected next year, she said.

A new shelter at the Splash Pad offers a wide view of the lake and beach, Walker added.

“It’s great for birthday parties,” she said. “If you don’t want to rent the Splash Pad after hours, you rent that shelter and have all the kids there.”

Twelve lounge chairs with umbrella seating are expected for delivery by Monday.

“There will be way more seating for Mom at the Splash Pad,” she said.

The county-owned concession stand offers home-cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade fish and tartar sauce and freshly fried chips, along with snack foods and drinks, Walker said.

A&J Catering, a local business, operates concessions from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and also provides caterings for Pavilion weddings, said Walker.

“They run that concession stand top-notch,” she added.

Down at the beach, families are enjoying inflatables at the Aqua Water Park, located in the lake. This summer, the staff has added the Hamster Wheel and The Rocket.

“The Hamster Wheel is a blow-up square, and inside that square is a round wheel,” Walker said. “Kids get in it, and they can walk and turn.”

The wheel stays inside the square.

The Rocket is a “water teeter-totter” that lets up to eight kids at a time test their balance skills.

“It’s very popular,” she said.

The marina offers boat dock rentals, kayaks, jet skis and pontoon boat rentals. This year, sea dogs can also rent paddle boards, she said.

A paintball field attracts landlubbers of all ages, for $25 per person for a package that includes two hours of play.

“We hook you up with the guns, the paint balls and everything you need to play,” Walker said. “Some people bring their own stuff, or you can rent ours, and it’s very well-priced.”

Paintball is available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Families regularly vacation at the RV park, where 102 spots are available, along with seven cabins. Four cabins allow a “camp” experience, while three offer a home-away-from-home experience with kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

“The cabins are wonderful,” she said. “You can make it a week vacation, right here.

“This is a family establishment,” Walker explained. “We’re all about family values, getting your family together, getting away from electronics and getting out of the house.

“There’s something here for everybody. We try to make it a safe, clean place, and we don’t allow alcohol. We patrol it and keep it as safe and family-friendly as possible.”

Those who want more information or want to book weddings, boats, paintball packages or camping spaces may call the Lake Stephens office at 304-934-5323.

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