Exposing a secret

Published 11:12 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

Lone Star Lakes Park is one of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets.

Nestled along the outskirts of Chuckatuck, the park features an unusual variety of activities and attractions, including a playground, a four-mile horse trail, an archery range, grills and picnic tables and a model airplane flying field.

The layout of the park makes it easy to find a quiet place for a picnic or to read a book, and visitors have a good chance of seeing bald eagles, turkey, deer and other animals in their natural habitat. During the fall, especially, the park is hard to match for its natural beauty.

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Of course, the lakes that give the park its name are a big part of the attraction, offering fishing and crabbing from shoreline fishing areas or from your own canoe or small-engine boat.

But in a city with as many great fishing lakes as Suffolk, even a place like Lone Star Lakes can get lost in the shuffle, especially when it’s so well hidden — off Kings Highway, behind the G. Robert House Jr. Water Treatment Plant. For years, casual visitors looking for the park could easily have come to the conclusion that there was nothing beyond the treatment plant on Bob House Parkway.

That should all change on Sunday with the opening of a new, conspicuous entrance to Lone Star Lakes Park from Kings Highway. The new entry consists of a paved road leading visitors directly into the park. Plans call for landscaping and white vinyl fencing to make it more inviting, and an electronic gate will help keep folks out when the park is closed.

Combined with a set of new spring programs planned for Lone Star Lakes by Suffolk’s Parks and Recreation Department, the new entry will help ensure the park gets the attention it deserves. That might make it a little more crowded, a bit less of a secret, but it will help a whole new group of people see and experience one of the best things in Suffolk.