Greensboro’s nine best swimmin’ holes and one worst

by Brian Clarey

Bur-Mil Park (outdoor)

5834 Owl’s Roost Rd., 336.373.3800

If you don’t mind screaming kids and splashing water (or if you crave them), then this public pool is the place for you. Nestled in one of the finest parks in Guilford County, the Bur-Mil pool has cool fountains and poolside attractions that will make the kids beg you to take them back before you’ve even got them loaded in the car.

$4 for adults, $3 for kids 3-12

11 a.m.’–6 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

10 a.m.’–6 p.m., Saturday

12 p.m.’–6 p.m., Sunday

Grimsley High School (indoor)

801 Westover Terrace; 336.274.4247

During the school year, this pool is a practice and meet site for local swim teams. But in the summer they take down the lap lanes and open the place to all corners. It’s indoors, but sometimes that’s a good thing, like when the temperature rises past 90 and you’re out of SPF 30 sunblock. They’re open six days a week and have evening hours for those looking for a post-work frolic.

$2 for adults over 12, $1 under 13

1’–6 p.m., Mon.-Sat.

7-9 p.m., Mon., Wed. and Fri. nights

Lindley Park (outdoor)

2907 Springwood Drive; 336.299.3226

This pool was once the subject of controversy back in the Civil Rights days, when it was segregated. Now it stands as a cool oasis in the center of town, overlooking scenic Wendover Avenue. It has a small deck and a short diving board. We’re afraid that this modern era of insurance has made high-dives a thing of the past. And it’s only open two days a week due to a full schedule of swim meets.

Adults $2, youth $1

1’–5 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays

Kathleen Price Bryan Family YMCA (indoor)

501 W. Market St.; 336.478.9622

This is a great facility, with a pool strictly for lap swimmers and another family pool that has a waterslide which runs on weekday nights and all day on weekends. It costs a bit more for non-members to swim at the Y, but they make up for it with amenities like towel service (for adults) and locker rooms. And they open early ‘— real early for the sunrise swimmers who like to get their laps in before the workday begins.

$5 for all non-members

5 a.m.’–8p.m., Mon.- Fri.

7 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday

1-5 p.m., Sunday

Smith High School (indoor)

2407 S. Holden Road; 336.297.5042

Why didn’t my high school, located in the beautiful and vast suburbs of Long Island, have a swimming pool? Actually I can think of a lot of good reasons, first and foremost being that our corps of nerds and geeks would be constantly thrown into it after receiving their daily rations of wedgies and Indian burns. But they don’t have that problem at Smith, and they let anyone use the pool during the summer months.

$2 for adults over 12, $1 under 13

1’–5 p.m., Mon.-Sat.

7-9 p.m., Mon., Wed. and Fri. nights

Hayes-Taylor Memorial YMCA (indoor)

1101 E. Market St.; 336.272.2131

The Y on Market Street was named a 2004 Longfellow Award winner by the Red Cross for outstanding contributions to water safety, according to Jonathan Woodburn, aquatics and fitness director, and there’s a lot more going on here than ‘Marco Polo.’ It’s a smaller facility, with a lap pool and a full regimen of exercise and instruction including water aerobics, swimming lessons and the like.

$6 non-members, $3 youth under 16

7 a.m.’–8 p.m.

Alex W. Spears III Family YMCA (indoor)

3216 Horse Pen Creek Road; 336.387.9636

You’re gonna want to bring the kids to this one. At the Y on Horse Pen Creek they’ve got all the amenities you’d expect from a neighborhood facility, but they also have a waterslide (and a passel of rules to go along with it), a beachfront and the Dew Drop Waterfall, which is a great way to get wet.

Guest fee: $10 adult, $5 youth

5 a.m.’–9:30 p.m., Mon.’–Fri.

6 a.m.’–5:30 p.m., Saturday

12’– 5:30 p.m. Sunday

City Lake Park (outdoor)

602 W. James St.; Jamestown; 336.883.3501

Folks in high Point and Jamestown don’t have as many swimming options as we do in Greensboro, but they are home to one of the best facilities in the area. City Lake Park, near the junction of these two cities, has created an amazing pool that draws crowds of kids, teens and seniors ‘— groups that have radically different tastes in swimwear but are all on the same page when a hot summer day rolls around.

12- 6 p.m., Mon.-Sat.

1- 6p.m. Sunday

$6 pool and waterslide, $4 pool only

Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe

3910 S. Holden Road; 336.852.9721

I’m not gonna lie to you ‘— this place is pricey, about the same cost as a day at Graceland including a tour of the planes but not the cars. But if you’ve got the scratch, a day at Emerald Pointe is at least as satisfying as Blue Hawaii. They’ve got pools, rivers, lagoons, rapids, slides and rides in this giant aqua-musement park (I just made up that word) and they’ll take your money every day of the week.

$15-$27 for a day pass with season packages available

And the worst place to go swimming in Greensboro’…

Beerbower’s River

217 1/2 S. Elm St.

You don’t want to go swimming in Beerbower’s River, the swiveling series of ducts located in the alley beside the Next Door Tavern and the smallest body of water in town. For one thing, it’s completely unstable, as evidenced by its destruction last week by vandals who apparently tried to climb it. For another, it’s absolutely unsafe ‘— one of the vandals, whom Beerbower says was identified after a $250 reward was offered by downtown merchants, reportedly suffered a broken leg and two broken feet, and there were no lifeguards on duty to attend to the injuries.