Lake DeFuniak reopens for public swimming. Here are the details.

Season runs March 1 to Sept. 30

Special to the Walton Sun/USA TODAY NETWORK

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — Lake DeFuniak has reopened for public swimming for the 2022 season until Sept. 30.

There is a designated swim area between the boat ramp of the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood to the Amphitheatre for public swimming from 8 a.m. to sunset Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to sunset.

“We’re excited to reopen the lake to our residents and visitors, and very appreciative to Mr. Mark Bird for the pylons,” DeFuniak Springs City Manager Robert Thompson said. “We welcome visitors to come spend the day in our great city and enjoy the lake.”

Lake DeFuniak is open for swimming until Sept. 30. Pylons have been installed to mark the swimming area.

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The history:In 1964, Lake DeFuniak was closed to evade desegregation. After 57 years, it reopens.

The city's Public Works Maintenance Division prepared the lake grounds and coordinated the pylon installation. DeFuniak Springs native Bird donated and installed the pylons needed to secure the lake for swimming.

Signs are posted around the lake say swim at your own risk. Boating, kayaking, canoeing and fishing will continue, but not within the designated swimming area, which extends out about 75 feet from shore.

“I love my town and I’ve been to every festival on the lake since I was born, so it was a great way to give back to my community,” said Bird, who owns Aquatech, a marine contractor that builds docks and sea walls. “I want to thank the city manager for the opportunity to serve my community in this way.”

Bird said he embedded the pylons 8 feet deep into lake. The swimming area is 12-15 feet deep with a natural grade. The pylons are marine graded and treated poles that are buried in the water to connect ropes with buoys to show the swimming area. They should last 20 years before needing replacement.