CALEDONIA — Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, 8425 Highway 38, didn’t have access to a beach or large body of water, so its owners decided to make one as part of a massive expansion project about 18 months ago.

In a few weeks, the camping resort is set to open the first phase of its planned expansion in the form of Bear Paw Beach and Adventure Island. The initial offerings include a beach, 87,000 square feet of water with a floating obstacle course and 20 new cabins; the park is shooting for a June 28 opening, according to Jellystone co-owner and general manager Bridget Bender.

The park’s owners last year announced their intentions to expand Jellystone to 222 acres from its current 43 after acquiring 150 acres of land for $3 million.

Bear Paw Beach itself is five acres. Cabana rentals, nearby cabins, dozens of beach chairs and the flagship Adventure Island obstacle course give the area a unique theme, Bender said.

“It just has kind of a different feel than a pool,” she said.

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While Bear Paw Beach is connected to Jellystone via a private road in the campground, the beach is also getting its own entrance and parking lot on Seven Mile Road between Highway 38 and Nicholson Road, meaning the park will be open to the general public, not just campers.

A general admission beach pass will be $14 for people ages 3 and up, while it will cost $25 for a one-hour obstacle course session or $36 for a two-hour session, according to the Bear Paw Beach website. Those prices will be discounted for campers, Bender said.

There will not be lifeguards, Bender said, but attendants will be CPR-certified.

Connected to the parking lot is a building with a 2,500-square-foot banquet hall with seating for up to 225 people, concession stand, catering kitchen and gift shop. The building will be open with the beach for the first phase, Bender said.

Future phases are set to add 100 campsites and 30 additional cabins, Bender said.

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Jonathon Sadowski covers the greater Union Grove and Waterford areas, entertainment and odds and ends for The Journal Times.

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