Reimagining the outdoors

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Manager Rachel Wagner and owner Lisa Holverson are part of the crew to make visitors feel at home.

Lori Wood | For The Times-Post

PENDLETON — The former Pine Lakes Fishing and Camping Resort in Pendleton has found not only new owners but a new direction under the name Mystic Waters Family Campground.

Lisa Holverson, her husband Brent and business partner Pete Watson have created a destination designed for family fun and relaxation.

A variety of cabins, RV and tent camping, recreational water sports and special events are all part of the 38-acre site that houses three lakes, located off State Road 38 just west of Interstate 69.

Purchased in December, the owners and staff worked long hours to prepare the overgrown area for a May opening. They cleared the campground, which was completely overgrown with weeds. Some of the cabins were removed to create some additional space between them. The bait shop is now the camp lodge with a camp store, TV, video games, ping-pong table and foos-ball game.

“We wanted to make this a place for families,” Holverson said. “We have so much land, there’s lots we can do.”

Part of what they intend to do is add professional beach volleyball sand courts, pickleball area and basketball court.

While those projects will be addressed soon, visitors can now take advantage of kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming in the lake with a sand beach, and catch and release fishing.

Behind the lodge is the shelter where guests can picnic, barbecue and play games. When live entertainment is on the schedule, the shelter is the site for gathering to listen to the music.

There are 33 cabins that fall into three categories: The VIP cabins near the lodge are finished with rustic décor. These cabins have queen beds and a television. The beachfront cabins have full-sized beds and are directly in front of the sand beach. The rustic cabins are more basic and are situated along the catch and release fishing lake. All cabins have lofts for additional guests, air conditioning, fire rings, picnic tables and a porch swing.

While the cabins do not have bathrooms, three bathhouses are dotted around the area. Prices range from $80 to $125 per night.

Camping sites have three options. The 45 RV sites have water and electricity or are full hookup sites. For those who prefer primitive camping, an unlimited number of tent sites are available. Campsites range from $40 to $75.

Guests can rent kayaks or paddleboards by the hour or bring their own. Day passes to the property are $20 for adults, $10 for children and are valid from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

Ruoff concert-goers have discovered Mystic Waters with nearly 300 descending upon the property in early June. For the large draw concerts, Holverson said they had a shuttle service to the concert venue, and shuttles for most concerts are a future possibility.

“It was so great, and guests gave us rave reviews,” Holverson said.

“We really want to give people a place to hang out and enjoy the simple things,” Holverson said. “When you’re outside like this and not in a hotel room, you talk to people. You kind of develop a relationship with people.”

Already, Mystic Waters has gotten great reviews from a few of the extended stay campers and others, she said.

Several families with travel ball players are among them.

“One person said they will never stay in a hotel again when in the area for travel ball,” Holverson said.

Despite the amount of work put into the property, Holverson said Mystic Waters is an ongoing project.

“Everything will improve. We just want to get people out here enjoying the property.”

The laid-back vibe between guests and staff is the aim of Mystic Lakes.

“Being nice goes a long way with people, and generally when people are out here, laid back is what they’re looking for, said Holverson.

Along with the activities for guests, Mystic Waters has played host to events for large groups. More of these and even weddings are part of future possibilities.

Holverson said they want to add special events open to the community.

“We want to be part of the community, and everybody that we’ve met is super supportive, and they want to do stuff here. The sky’s the limit.”

Another project in the works is a blues float intended for people to listen to Bluegrass music while floating on the lake.

Holverson and the staff of 11 are excited about the progress in the past seven months.

“We want to give people a place where they can hang out with their friends and family, and be outside and get back to doing the simple things. Between what we offer as far as activities and the ability to spend time with family and friends is our main focus here,” Holverson said.

More information about Mystic Waters can be found at mysticwaterscampground.com.

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