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Winchester residents head to Shannon Beach to beat the heat

Winchester residents relax in the hot weather at Shannon Beach, which officially opens May 25, but was open during 90 plus heat. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/RACHEL WHITEHOUSE

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It’s going to be a hot one this Memorial Day weekend, with temperatures forecast in the high 70s and low 80s.

Winchester residents looking to beat the heat might check out the new facilities at the popular Shannon Beach on the Upper Mystics Lakes, which opens May 25 with lifeguard coverage at the designated swimming area.

Formerly known as Sandy Beach, the beach was renamed in 2008 for the late state Sen. Charles E. Shannon, who represented the area for nearly 15 years until his passing in 2005.

Winchester residents enjoy a warm evening at Shannon Beach. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/RACHEL WHITEHOUSE

According to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), there will be lifeguard coverage only on weekends and holidays until June 14. June 15 marks the start of lifeguard coverage seven days a week, which continues through Aug. 18. The swimming area closes for the summer on Sept. 2. 

Water safety in the area and especially at the Mystic Lakes State Park remains a concern for the DCR. In recent years, there have been several drownings of teens and adults at the Mystic Lakes, including one each in July of 2023, 2022 and 2019.

Last June, DCR opened a new Shannon Beach Bathhouse. The net-zero and fully accessible facility includes modern restrooms, a family restroom and outdoor rinse stations. An extensive field, a new playground, picnic areas, and walking trails surround the area.

According to DCR, the beach is now universally accessible, with accessible paths from parking to the beach and the adjacent shoreline picnic grove. Beach wheelchairs are also available at Shannon Beach.

The DCR last June opened the Shannon Beach Bathhouse for resident use. COURTESY PHOTO/DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATIONr

The facility is designed to meet climate resiliency, ecology, and energy efficiency goals, using solar panels and battery storage that achieve net-zero emissions. The building also includes all LED lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures, and de-stratification fans that will reduce energy consumption, minimize water consumption, and improve indoor air quality. 

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