|With sizzling summer weather arriving early in our community, lots of folks, especially those with children, are seeking opportunities to enjoy sun, fun and cool in a pool.
While a few "swimming holes" still exist in our community for those fortunate enough to have access to largely private property, most seek aquatic recreation for children at area swimming pools and parks.
Many options for swimmers of all ages, but especially youngsters, are available in our community, including excellent public facilities and a number of lakes, membership club and paid-attendance options.
The excellent publicly funded Murfreesboro and Smyrna recreation departments offer public swimming facilities which literally need take a backseat to no others.
In fact, Murfreesboro Recreation Department's two excellent facilities lead of this week's The Murfreesboro Post Top 10 Places for Aquatic Fun.
1. Sports*Com is located at McKnight Park (120 DeJarnette Lane) in the northern area of Murfreesboro. Among its many amenities are 25-yard indoor pool and 50-meter outdoor pool.
This appears to be Murfreesboro's public pool of choice during the summer as well as the biggest, outside pool available to the general public.
Daily fees are $4 for adults and $3 for youth ages 6 to 17 and seniors age 60 and up. Family passes, monthly passes and 30-visit passes may be purchased. Passes may be used at both Sports*Com and Patterson Park Community Center.
Outdoor Pool Hours: May 26-Aug. 10, 2007, Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6:45 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday: 1 -4:30 p.m. Aug. 11-Sept. 2, 2007: Saturday: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday: 1-4 p.m.
2. Patterson Park Community Center is located at Patterson Park (521 Mercury Boulevard). Amenities include an indoor pool with 25-yard lap lane area, interactive play system and triple-loop slide. This facility is especially popular with younger children who are also more vulnerable to extended sunshine.
Facility Hours: Sunday- 1-5 p.m.; Monday-Friday – 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday – 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Also consider Swim Academy at Murfreesboro, ages: 5- 15 years, cost: $75 for first child, $55 for each additional child of same family. Locations: Tuesdays and Thursdays at Sports*Com and Patterson; Saturdays at Sports*Com. Swim Preschool at Murfreesboro: Ages 6 months – 4 years, Costs: $50, Locations: Mondays & Wednesdays or Saturdays at Patterson; Monday-Thursday at Sports*Com (summer only).
3. Smyrna Towne Center, 100 Sam Ridley Parkway, just off U.S. 70/41, includes an excellent Olympic-size outdoor pool among its wide range of recreation and fitness facilities.
Quite modestly priced at $3 for adults, $2 for children (1 year to 15 years old with 12 months and under free) and seniors, the pool is operated by the award-winning Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department.
Towne Center pool hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m. For more
4. Smyrna Splash Pad, Gregory Mills Park, 390 Enon Springs Road East, Smyrna, isn't a pool but a mini-water park with lots of sprinklers and sprayers that younger children find delightful. And you can't beat the price: free.
Splash Pad hours are everyday (May 22-Sept. 4) 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Gregory Mills Park is anchored by a historic mill and dam. It has a larger shelter, grills, electricity, restrooms and picnic tables, 3 covered picnic tables.
5. J. Percy Priest Lake is one of the more popular water based activities. Swimming is prohibited at launching ramps, mooring points, marinas, public docks and posted area. It is allowed elsewhere, but for safety's sake please swim only in specifically designated areas.
The Corps of Engineers operates three such swim areas on J. Percy Priest: Anderson Road, Cook and Seven Points Campground. Anderson Road and Cook both have sand beaches and playgrounds and there is a nominal day use fee.
Seven Points Campground includes a sandy beach for registered campers and their authorized visitors. Anderson Road and Cook Recreation Areas offer picnic sites, group shelters, boat launching ramps and bathrooms.
Resource Manager's Office, J. Percy Priest Lake, 3737 Bell Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37214. (615) 889-1975.
6. Murfreesboro/Rutherford County YMCA is located at 205 North Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37129, 895-5995. The YMCA offers an indoor teaching pool, indoor lap pool and outdoor water park, with lifeguard always on duty. Membership is available individually or family rate.
Facility hours are Monday-Friday 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday-6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 12:30 p.m.-6 p.m.
For more information call the aquatics department (615) 895-5995
7. Long Hunter State Park offers lakeshore swimming at Bryant Grove, a beach and picnic area on J. Percy Priest Lake, located within the park. Swimming is open to the public, free of charge, from 8 a.m.-to-sunset everyday.
Bryant Grove also features a rustic playground and a volleyball court. Swimming is unsupervised.
Long Hunter State Park is located at 2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage, Tenn. For more information call (615)-885-2422.
Directions: From Murfreesboro, take I-24 East to Old Hickory Boulevard. Go north on S.R. 171 for 8 miles to the park entrance.
8. Nashville Shores is a paid-admission park that offers beautiful white sandy beaches along J. Percy Priest Lake plus an activity–packed Big Splash Pool Area promises buckets of fun for young and old.
The Wacky Pond Kiddie Pool will keep little ones entertained for hours. Seven water slides provide nearly 700 feet of twisting turning fun.
General admission (48 inches and taller) $21.95 plus tax; Junior Admission (47 inches and shorter) $16.95 plus tax; Child Admission (2 years old and under) FREE; Senior Admission (55 years old and over) $16.96 plus tax. After 3 p.m. rates are reduced.
The park is open May 25-Aug. 12 and weekends only Aug. 19-Sept. 9.
Directions: Nashville Shores from Murfreesboro, take I-24 West to Bell Road (Exit 59). Turn right and go north for 8 miles. Continue on Bell Road towards Percy Priest Dam and the entrance will be 1 1/2 miles on your right. 4001 Bell Road, Hermitage, 37076
9. The Racquet Club of Murfreesboro offers individual and family "summer only" rates that include a range of tennis opportunities but finds many families signing up to use the large outdoor pool.
The summer family rate is $399 for unlimited pool use.
The pool is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1-6 p.m.-Sunday.
The membership rates also include the privilege to rent the indoor courts and use of the outdoor courts at no extra charge.
The Racquet Club of Murfreesboro is located at 605 River Rock Boulevard.
10. American Red Cross swimming lessons are offered at various locations across the community.
The Red Cross offers swimming programs and guides. Parent and child aquatics was developed for children 6 months to 5 years of age, American Red Cross Parent and Child Aquatics builds swimming readiness by emphasizing fun in the water. Once children can perform basic skills without parental assistance, they may begin Learn-to-Swim sources.
Local swimming lesson providers:
MTSU Campus Recreation, 615-898-2104 http://www.mtsu.edu/~camprec/Documents/Aquatics%202007.doc
Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation, 615-895-5040
Guppies And Dolphin's Swim, 615-416-3615
Ms. Sue's Swimming, 615-459-5124
Smyrna Town Centre, 615-684-9780
11. Walter Hill Dam has a historic, old-time swimming hole at the bridge, but swimming there is extremely dangerous with the site the scene of numerous drowning tragedies through the years.
While the Walter Hill swimming hole is mentioned for its traditional and historic significance, it is not a suitable and safe option.