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Time to head to the beach

July 19, 2013 - Nikki Younk
These past few days have been some of the hottest of the year so far. Perfect days for swimming.

But where’s the best place to go swimming? I’ve found that every place I know of has its pros and cons.

As a kid, I was content with swimming in local lakes — the Hamilton Lakes, Lake Antoine, and Bass Lake. They’re close, they’re familiar. Unfortunately, I’ve found that there’s a fair chance that I’ll come out of these lakes with swimmer’s itch. Remember to always towel off and shower ASAP to combat this nasty affliction.

The Great Lakes are definitely ‘great’ for swimming...long, sandy beaches and plenty of waves. The downsides? It takes about one hour to get to the nearest Lake Michigan beach and about an hour and a half to get to the nearest Lake Superior beach. Also, Lake Superior is outrageously, ridiculously, bitterly cold.

What about rivers? I’ve swam in the Sturgeon River while tubing and in the Menominee River after rafting down Piers Gorge. They’re ok, but I’ve seen far too many leeches to be comfortable with using these places regularly.

Pools are viable alternatives, if you have easy access to one. Locally, the Y has a public pool, but the schedule can get pretty busy. Check ahead for open swim times.

So which locale wins out? I guess it depends.

As of late, I’ve been enjoying Lake Michigan, in particular Van Cleve Park in Gladstone. It’s a beautiful location...and it’s only blocks away from a downtown pizza place that serves delicious gelato.

Swimming AND ice cream? Sounds like the perfect way to beat the heat.



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