Note: The water at Versluis Park is under scrutiny in light of PFAS contamination found in neighboring areas. We do not know how long this will last or whether the lake is or isn’t contaminated.
A Bit About Versluis Park: A Short Drive to the Beach
The weather was beautiful. The beach beckoned…but which one? I thought of driving out to Lake Michigan but didn’t really want to make the commitment.
Then I remembered Versluis Park in Plainfield township. I had driven by a few times, but never visited. It was about 15 minutes from our house and cost $10 for a vehicle to enter. So it was settled…let’s go!
Know the Rules at Versluis Park
I was struck by the multitude of rules posted at the gate. I spoke with the gate attendant and he told me the lake is in an old gravel pit– which means there’s a 30ft drop off right after the swim rope. Mainly, they want to make sure people are safe while they swim. And at Versluis, that means rules.
Here’s a synopsis:
- No food on the beach (they don’t want to encourage geese and ducks to hang out).
- Alcohol is prohibited on park property.
- No glass on the beach (they don’t want people getting hurt by broken glass).
- No flotation devices (rafts, swimmies, etc), except for coast-guard approved life jackets.
- No swim masks, flippers, snorkels, etc. Goggles are okay as long as they don’t cover the nose.
- Parents must be in the water with children under 10 years old.
- If you leave, you must pay to re-enter.
Now that we’ve got the rules covered, let’s talk about the fun stuff.
Tips for Your Trip from other Parents
- Versluis Park has 2 great playsets, one on the beach and one near a picnic area.
- As far as facilities are concerned, there is a drinking fountain/shower/footwash as well as a basic bathroom area. No food is for sale in the park. If you plan on eating in the park, pack a picnic or hit McDonalds (just across the street) before you come in. You may not walk out of the park and then return…foot traffic is not allowed – it’s a good idea to plan ahead before your visit.
- I brought along a bucket and shovels and camp chairs and we stayed for about 2 hours. The beach was full but not crowded. The beach is not all that big, so be prepared to be close to other people while you play in the sand. The water was clear and clean, although I did overhear other people talking about how it was covered in cottonwood just a few weeks earlier, so be aware of that possibility earlier in the season.
- This is a good spot to fish. Go ahead and bring a pole.
- The beach closes in mid-August for the season because most of the staff are college students and the park also hosts a triathalon, which uses the lake for swim practice.