Summer is here, and after a chilly winter, we’re ready to get to the beach!
We love Lake Michigan, but getting out to the shoreline can be a long drive—especially during construction season. When the jaunt to Grand Haven is just too far, remember you can still have a beautiful beach day at four of our Kent County Parks!
Long Lake, Myers Lake, Wabasis, and Millennium Park all offer swimming beaches right here in Kent County. Millennium Park has an affordable daily admission fee, with season passes available, but the other beaches in our parks system are free to use! If you'd rather stay dry and still enjoy the water, all these parks also having areas for fishing.
Long Lake Park just off Krauskopf in Sparta offers a sandy beach for park goers on the northeast corner of the lake. The beach hosts a playground for the kids when they want a break from the water but aren’t ready to call it a day. You can also find two fishing areas around the lake and a boat launch for non-motorized boats. Long Lake Park is a quiet place and perfect for a serene, relaxing day by the water.
If you don’t want sand in your shoes forever, Myers Lake Park in Rockford offers a grassy bank beach. Changing rooms and restrooms sit between the parking lot and the beach. The park has plenty of picnic tables, too, so be sure to pack a lunch! If fishing is more your style, you can wade in and fish for sunfish and crappies. The beach is open from 8am to 8pm Monday-Friday, opens early at 7:30am on Saturday and Sunday, and the park is open until 9pm daily.
Wabasis Lake Park’s sandy beach stretches for 300ft of shoreline and covers an acre total area. There’s a beachhouse with changing facilities and restrooms along the path from the parking lot to the lakeshore. Sand volleyball courts are also located along the path, and a playground and swing set are on the beach as well. The campground store is a short walk from the parking lot and offers a place to get snacks, beach toys, ice, and sunscreen if you forgot yours!
If you're feeling adventurous, this park also hosts the only public boat launch for Wabasis Lake. Fish in this park include black crappies, bluegills, large and smallmouth bass, rock bass, walleyes, and yellow perch. You can take your boat out to cast a line or wade in from the shore.
For a few dollars, you can also spread your towel at Millennium Park’s beach. Sandy beach along the Millennium Lake shoreline covers six acres of the park and features a big Splashpad for the kids. Food, ice cream, and snacks are available at the concession stand in the Van Andel Beach House, as well as restrooms, changing rooms, lockers, and picnic tables. If you don't want to get your feet wet, cast your line off one of the many fishing decks in the park. You can also rent paddle boats, canoes, and more for use on the 100-acre lake. You’ll forget you’re only a few minutes from downtown Grand Rapids at this beach!