In Features, HearSway

Pack your coolers, wrangle up the kids and head down U.S. 1 because Pinebluff’s Cardinal Park has finally re-opened its gates and trust us — it’ll give you all the nostalgic, summer camp feels.

A Little History

Pinebluff’s Cardinal Park originally opened in 1962 under the direction of MoCo legend, Felton Capel. For many years, the park served as one of the only places that welcomed African-Americans. As the years went on, Cardinal Park’s lake and sandy beach became the place to be in the summer.

When Felton Capel began to suffer from health issues, the park began to lose momentum. For many years, it was used off and on for events, but eventually it sat empty until Felton’s son Mitch returned to the area four years ago.

So, Now What?

@Corona, we’ve found our beach.

Mitch Capel has restored his childhood hangout spot and opened the park to visitors once again. The sand has been poured by the lake, the umbrellas have been set up and Pinebluff’s Cardinal Park is ready for you.

Now your kids can experience those old-school summer glory days in 2019, and get air-conditioning on the ride home. Win-win.

The park also offers an old-school swing set and plenty of picnic tables.

As of right now, day fees are $10 for adults and $5 for kids aged 5 and younger. That grants you access the lake, all the fishing you can do and all of the facility’s games and activities.

Mitch estimated the lake to be about 20-25 feet at its deepest point, making it too shallow for larger motorized boats. Oh, and there is a lifeguard on duty on the weekends.

Although you can’t rent fishing gear or boats at the facility, guests are more than welcome to bring their own poles, flat-bottom boats or kayaks. A few kayaks are available to use at Pinebluff’s Cardinal Park on a first come, first serve basis.

The shelters are original, but Mitch says they have been repainted since the park’s reopening.

Cardinal Park is home to picnic shelters that can be rented out for birthday parties, a beach volleyball court, a basketball court and plenty of games like corn hole, horseshoes and ring toss.

Mitch found a local artist to add some color to the park’s buildings.
Mitch says the bathrooms were the first things he began to fix when he decided to restore Cardinal Park. Bless.
A concession stand is set to open soon at the facility. The concession stand will sell hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken wings and more.

You can bring a cooler filled with whatever you’d like as long as it’s legal, according to Mitch. So yes, you can enjoy a nice black cherry White Claw in between helping little Johnny re-apply Coppertone SPF 50.

Looking Ahead

There’s so much room for activities.

The park is open, but Mitch still has a few more plans up his sleeve, including rebuilding a few picnic tables, adding an RV area and possibly a horseback riding trail.

Cardinal Park is open every day from 9 a.m. until dark. For more information, call Mitch Capel at 910-494-0696.

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