With Monday's Memorial Day holiday marking the unofficial start of the summer season, here are a few places people can go to unwind, beat the heat and relax:
Westminster Pool has offered residents a chance to cool for "many, many years," according to Kristi Turgeon, administrator coordinator for Westminster's Recreation and Parks.
In addition to the pool that is 8-feet deep, there is a wading pool, a basketball court and a NEO 360 play system.
Plus, there is a new slide this year, Turgeon said.
But the biggest news is that visitors can now use their credit cards at the gate.
There are also new photo ID membership cards that can be scanned.
Tim Heiss has been a lifeguard at the pool for three years. This year, he became pool manager.
"It has been a rewarding and great experience life guarding at the city pool," Heiss wrote in an email. "My favorite part is being able to be there to potentially save someone's life and to be a positive role model to all the young kids that attend the pool."
He recently enlisted in the Army to become an airborne combat engineer. Heiss will leave for basic training in January.
The Westminster Municipal Pool is located at 325 Royer Road, Westminster.
Hours are noon to 7 p.m., every day. The pool will open on Memorial Day for weekends only until June 13 then open every day.
Gate fee is $7. Individual and family memberships available.
Lineboro-Manchester Lions Pool
After a young boy drowned in a pond in the North Carroll area in the early 1950s, the Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club decided the area needed a safe place to swim, according to Joe Bach, chairman of the Lineboro-Manchester Lions Pool.
Using donkeys to help with dirt removal, club members hand dug a pool in Manchester. Fifty-seven years later, that original pool is one of three the club oversees every summer for the community.
"I grew up at the pool," said Megan Donovan, who will be working her sixth season at the pool as both a lifeguard and pool operator.
Now in college studying to become an elementary teacher, Donovan said working at the pool is the perfect summer job.
"I love it. Who can get tired of being around water?" she said, laughing.
Donovan also likes the sense of community at the pool, and enjoys seeing families and members return every summer.
Pool chairman Bach also spent his youth at the pool. As the pool chairman for the last seven years, he makes sure everything is up and running.
He also follows up on people's suggestions — such as adding a pavilion and umbrellas last year.
"Shade is a big thing," Bach said, as he looked over the three pools — a family pool with diving board; a lap pool and a children's pool — all in the open with no trees nearby .
"We like people coming to the pool and using it," Bach said.
"The costs [of maintaining a pool] are substantial," he said. "We are not in this business to make money. We're in business to keep open."
During the summer, a staff of about 20 people work at the site, which also offers a snack bar, and restrooms/showers. There is a swim team and swim lessons are also available.
The pools open on May 24 for weekends and during the week after June 13.
Pool hours are noon to 7 p.m. Family and individual memberships available. Daily prices are $7 ; $5 for ages 3 to 12; $2 for no swim and ages 2 and under are free.
Cascade Lake, a 6-acre spring-fed lake in Hampstead, has been open to the public for swimming and paddle boating longer than more years than he can count, said Rory Flynn, the son of owners Susanne and Patrick Flynn.
Rory Flynn has been working at the lake in various capacities since 2004, though his family has owned the property since 1992.
"It is really convenient, living where you work," he said.
The college student was managing the office last week as work was getting underway to open the lake for business on May 31.
A roped-off area in the lake sets the boundaries for swimmers.
"Dark water is always a risk," Flynn said, of lake swimming. "It is something you learn to deal with."
Inner tubes and floats are allowed and the area also features water slides and platforms.
Not far from the lake, a spray 'n ' playground provides another chance to get wet with geysers, bubblers and water tunnels.
Picnic tables and grills are available and there is also a café and gift shop.
A stocked lake is also available for fishermen.
The lake water is not heated and can be cool, especially after a rain.
In order to swim in the lake, visitors must pass a swimming test, Rory said. Children must be at least 8 years old and swim a required length with no dog paddling or stopping allowed during the test.
The lake attracts visitors from Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Carroll counties, Rory said.
Numerous campers from nearby camps also spend time at the lake over the summer.
"Weekends are pretty busy," he said.
Cascade Lake is located at 2844 Snydersburg Road, Hampstead.
It will open on May 31 and June 1 for weekends. After June 14, it is open every day but Monday.
Gates open at 10 a.m., and close at 6 p.m. on weekdays; 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Individual and family rates available. Daily rates vary, depending on the time.
For information, call 410-374-9111.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun