Kristal Herrin
palmettoreport@gmail.com

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – With the recent updates to Ebenezer Park complete, Rock Hill residents are enjoying the new amenities and the park has already seen an influx of visitors before it officially reopens May 1.

The 26-acre York County park, which features a public beach on Lake Wylie and 67 campsites, has undergone $4.6 million of renovations over the last two years.

The grand reopening, later this week, will showoff Ebenezer Park’s largest addition, a new 10,000-square-foot semicircular pier with covered shelters, doubled-sided swings and picnic tables surrounding the swimming area.

Other additions including a multipurpose space for concerts and events, a volleyball and basketball court, an improved beach area and new hiking trails.

Rock Hill resident David Ballard, who has frequented the park for more than 12 years, said this was the first time he’s ever seen the park forced to turn some guests away because it was so crowded.

“It’s bringing the crowds out here,” Ballard said. “The park is not even open to the public yet, as far as paying, but they hate having to turn people away on the weekends now. There’s so many people coming out here, so that’s the bad part.”

Visitors had many positive things to say about the park’s updates, especially the new pier and swings.

Out-of-town guests Whitney Mebane and Jen McAlister visited the park to celebrate McAlister’s birthday and said the first thing they did was walk on the pier.

“That’s the first thing we went to is the pier and just walked around,” McAlister said. “It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s peaceful.”

Ballard said he thinks visitors will really enjoy the new swimming area, which was dredged and enlarged.

Ebenezer Park 2
The $4.6 million renovation of Ebenezer Park included an expanded swimming area on Lake Wylie, which was dredged and enlarged (photo: Kristal Herrin).

“Now that they got the swimming area enlarged, people coming out here can bring their kids,” Ballard said. “It’s about like going to Myrtle Beach really. I mean they could just spend the day out here and go home and come back the next day and not cost them an arm and a leg.”

Amari Nelson, a local high school student, said she learned about the updates on Facebook and decided to visit.

“Honestly, I like to put my feet in the water, that’s kind of fun,” said Nelson. “I think they should have boats that people could rent or something and get in the water.”

Rock Hill resident Gabby Crawford said it’s now up to visitors to take care of the park.

“I think people here could be a little more eco-friendly and throw away their trash,” said Crawford. “I was here about two days ago and they had people going around with golf carts picking up trash, because people were leaving it around.”