Great views of the Winston-Salem skyline and the cool depths of rock-encircled water are free for the asking now that Quarry Park is open off Reynolds Park Road.
Local officials formally marked the opening of the park Tuesday, joining a throng of visitors who came out to see the newest addition to the park system: More than 200 acres of mostly wooded land surrounding a former Vulcan Materials quarry that has filled with water for many years.
David Bumgarner, riding his bicycle through the park Tuesday, said the greenway that links Quarry Park to other bike paths is a welcome addition to his usual ride from Marketplace Mall to Salem Lake along the Salem Creek Greenway.
“I didn’t even know this quarry was here, and I’ve been living here all my life,” Bumgarner said. “I like it.
“I ride every chance I get, weather permitting. It will give us someplace to ride other than to the lake,” he said.
The park has an overlook pier that extends over the eastern side of the quarry, offering views of the city skyline in the distance and the deep blue waters of the quarry.
That water looked pretty inviting to Candice Rice, who said she knew about the quarry but wasn’t sure where it was located.
“I do think it would be nice if someone could get in the water and have some activities,” Rice said. She added that it looks like the open areas of the park would be well-suited for tennis courts and a playground.
City officials say they have no plans to let people out on the quarry waters, though they do plan future improvements that could include picnic shelters and other attractions.
The quarry is accessed by road from an entry drive on Reynolds Park Road near Reynolds Park.
Pedestrians can also get into the park from the south side on Leight Street. A greenway links the park on one side to Waughtown Street by way of Marble Street and to the Salem Creek Greenway to the north using Peachtree Street.
The conversion of the quarry into a public park was approved by voters in 2014 as part of a $30.85 million parks and recreation bond request. The quarry park renovation itself cost $5 million.
City officials say the park that people see today is just the first phase of a longer-term number of improvements that will provide more recreational features.
Ray Floyd, visiting from Rockford in Surry County with his wife, called the new park “wonderful.”
“I’m glad to see the politicians coming together and doing things for the people,” Floyd said.