A popular stop in the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort network, Clearwater Park or Akron Canton Jellystone Park (Ohio), is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with the past 20 years under the ownership of Mert and Charlene Yoder.
Located at the intersection of Hoover Avenue and Edison Street NW, the park features Stark County’s largest swimming pool, 175 campsites for recreational vehicles or tent campers, and 10 cabins, according to a report.
“It’s all about family entertainment,” Mert Yoder said. “This whole place is based on families and nothing but.”
Established in 1947, the park was initially owned by the Hostetler Family and started with a mini-golf course followed by a large swimming pool. Families would usually visit Clearwater for mini-golf and swimming, then pitch a tent for overnight camping, and do the same activities the next day.
“The camping was kind of an accident,” Mert Yoder said.
Everybody loves Yogi Bear
Park Operations Manager Erin Colston said around 65 spaces are set up for a camping season, with campers coming for weekends, weeklong vacations, or season-long stays.
The majority of campers come from the area, driving about three hours or less to reach the park, but can still bring visitors around the country since it is included in the Jellystone network, according to a report.
Clearwater Park has been connected with Jellystone since 2013, operating as Akron Canton Jellystone Camp-Resort. Mert Yoder said the company approached Clearwater about joining the network, and the arrangement has worked well for the park.
Besides camping, swimming, and mini-golf, the park provides various activities for entertaining kids aged three to 12, including character mascots of Yogi, Boo, and Cindy Bear.
“Everybody loves the bear,” Colston said of Yogi and his friends.
The park features the Yogi Bear theme in its entirety. For instance, it has the Pic-A-Nic Basket, where guests can get snacks, including Charlene Yoder’s homemade ice cream. It also has a family fun zone with archery, basketball, a bike track, a playground, and other activities on the grounds.
Colston said while campers outside the area seldomly visit the park, it remains popular with locals. Area residents visit to use the pool, get ice cream or play mini-golf. Memberships are available. Only campers and members can use the swimming pool on Saturdays.
The park has a management team of eight. While the Yoders help at the park, they leave key management duties in the hands of their staff.
With campers filling the park during summer, staff numbers rise to more than 50. Colston said many employees are high school students or teachers who have free time in the summer.
This article originally appeared on The Repository.