By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Despite recent heavy use, Mary Alice Park plans to officially open this weekend
Mary Alice Park
With the entire parking area and entrance gate filled with park visitors, the overflow vehicles parked along Mary Alice Park Road on Sunday outside the park entrance. - photo by Jim Dean

With the state’s shelter-in-place order expiring at the beginning of May, many used the first weekend of the month as a chance to go to the city of Cumming’s Mary Alice Park, though city officials said the park won’t actually be open to non-boating activities until this coming weekend.

Tracy Helms, administrator of the Cumming Fairgrounds and the park, said city officials typically consider Mother’s Day weekend the beginning of the park’s season and this year wasn’t different. What is different is that typically, in the weeks ahead of the opening, the park is opened on the weekends, which has not been done this year due to both social distancing guidelines and a project to repair a retaining wall, which needs to be completed before reopening.

Helms said he was hopeful the project could be done by Saturday, May 9.

“Hopefully, we can make it to Saturday and the weather will stay nice and it will all be good,” Helms said. “I understand people are itching to get out, tired of being at the house, so hopefully we have a light at the end of the tunnel on it.”

Helms said previously, the city was following the Army Corps of Engineers lead on the lake and keeping the park closed while having the boat ramp open and has posted signs letting visitors know of the change.

“Now, whether or not people abide by those rules is a different story,” he said.

Over the weekend, many of the parking spots big enough to fit boat trailers were taken up by vehicles without trailers. Those visitors were using other parts of the park.

“The problem we’re having is there are some car parking spaces in the boat ramp parking lot, but when those fill up, the cars are taking up the spaces that are designated for the trucks with trailers,” Helms said.

Mary Alice Park
Vehicles pack the parking area at Mary Alice Park on Sunday, May 3. - photo by Jim Dean