New vertical lift at Van Hook loading station

Van Hook Recreation Area has brought something new to its loading station. Earlier this week, a demonstration and dedication of its new vertical lift loading station for those with limited mobility was held. The lift, which is battery operated, will help people who can’t easily get on to boats and pontoons to be able to still enjoy them with more accessible access.

The lift is located at the boat launch area of the Van Hook Recreation Area and is open for public use. The lift is like a regular pool that has been designed with a vertical lift application. To increase the range of the lift to allow for loading up and over a standard pontoon boat’s railing, it was installed on top of a poured concrete platform with an accessible ramp, placing it at a maximum height of seven and a half feet.

“You better not be afraid of heights because you are going vertical,” said Park Manager Justin Ritts.

People wishing to use the loading station must stop by the Bait Shop to get the battery pack and safety instructions prior to use. Equipment will be available during normal business hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily.

The idea for creating the loading facility came from camper Justin Radamacher back in the summer of 2017. Park Managers Justin and Dawn Ritts researched and designed the project and were able to make the dream a reality this spring due to generous funding from the Slawson Exploration Company.


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