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Twin Lakes prepares for spring

Twin Lakes State Park is preparing for an exciting spring that will feature facility updates, new events and lots of lakeside fun.

Twin Lakes State Park is a 458-acre state park surrounded on three sides by Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest. The park has 33 campsites featuring electricity and water, with a centralized dump station and a new bath house. The park has two lakes: Prince Edward Lake and Goodwin Lake.

The campgrounds include nine cabins with two-to-three bedrooms each and one six-bedroom lodge, Bowen Lodge. The building is named after Willie Bowen, who worked at Prince Edward Lake State Park as chief ranger in the ‘60s before becoming a state park district manager. Bowen is the only African American to serve as a district manager for Virginia state parks and retired in 1999.

The park features guarded swimming Memorial Day through Labor Day. Guests can rent out paddle boards and pedal boats while a guard is on duty. Guests can rent canoes, kayaks and rowboats year round, according to Park Manager Veronica Flick.

In the past year, Twin Lakes State Park partnered with Yak Attack and Bonafide Kayaks. With the help of the Appomattox River Company, the park was able to acquire six new Bonafide Kayaks that are available for visitors to rent.

The park also features a concession stand with hand-dipped ice cream and souvenirs, as well as a lakeside conference center, including an event room that can hold up to 135 people. The building is a popular site for company picnics, family reunions, weddings and more.

Flick also explained the land’s heavy historical significance. The land for the park was initially bought from struggling farmers by the federal government during the Great Depression.

According to Flick, the park originally operated as two segregated parks consisting of the Prince Edward State Park and Goodwin Lake State Park. After The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation and the “separate but equal” doctrine, the two parks were merged to become Prince Edward/Goodwin Lake State Park.

However, after the desegregation of the parks, people continued to frequent the sides of the park which they had grown accustomed to. It wasn’t until 1986, when the park was renamed Twin Lakes State Park, that integration effectively occurred.

Flick said the park plans to make improvements to its boat dock in the day use area. With a grant and planned physical labor help from the local Rotary Club, the park will replace dock boards and install a kayak launch to accompany its new, high quality Bonafide Kayaks.

The park will hold its first annual Paws for a Cause event April 11, to include several vendors, food trucks, pet photography and other fundraising activities. During the event, pet care and food donations will be accepted in place of parking fees.

Flick said other improvements include partial renovations to the campground’s original cabins. Improvements consist of a fresh coat of paint, the addition of wainscoting and a chair rail in the living room, and a “facelift” to the fireplaces, consisting of new sconces, mirrors and a wooden mantle.