Versluis Park in Plainfield Twp is Your Beach when you Don’t want to Drive to the Big Lake

Versluis park grand rapids

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!

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Versluis Park swimming Grand Rapids

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.

Versluis Park Grand Rapids Beach

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.
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FAQ’s

Versluis Park is great for toddlers as long as you are ready to go in the water with them.

Bring your beach toys for sand play, bring a coast guard approved life jacket for swimming, and spend time on both of the play structures.

The small beach area, swim area, and close proximity to the restrooms make this a great park for families with toddlers.

Versluis park grand rapids

Versluis Park has a lot to offer.

There’s a one-mile paved biking/jogging trail, accessible beach ramp, kayak and canoe launch, two playgrounds, swim area with lifeguards, and modern restrooms.

There’s also a covered eating area near the beach, as well as grills and picnic tables throughout the park.

Sand volleyball courts and horseshoe pits are also available.

Modern restrooms are available, not far from the beach and playground area. The women’s restroom has a baby changing table in the larger stall.

The restrooms are small, but it would be possible to change your clothes here. There are no lockers.

A foot wash station is a short distance away from the restrooms.

Versluis Park has an abundance of picnic tables throughout the wooded section of the park.

They also have a covered eating pavilion and charcoal grills.

Versluis park grand rapids

You’ll find shade at Versluis Park in places, but not on the beach.

Many of the picnic tables and one of the playgrounds are in shaded areas. The beach and lifeguard station are in full sun, so come prepared for a warm time if you’re headed to play in the water.

This park doesn’t have the open space needed for kite flying.

Versluis Park does have an admission fee.

The fee is only charged when the beach is open for swimming.

For 2018, Versluis Park swimming beach is open from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. from Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, August 12.

All entrance fees must be paid in cash.

  • $3.00: Per Bicycle
  • $10.00: Per Car
  • Season passes can only be purchased at the Versluis Park. A driver’s license is required to purchase said season pass and the sticker must be affixed to the vehicle’s windshield at the time of purchase.
    • $25.00: Season Pass – Plainfield Township Residents
    • $70.00: Season Pass – Non-Residents
  • Buses:  $3.00 Per person
    ​​

BEACH HOURS

Versluis Park swimming beach is open from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. during the summer months beginning Saturday, May 26.

The beach closes for the season at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 12.

PARK HOURS – NOT INCLUDING THE BEACH

During summer hours, all other areas of Versluis Park are open from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM.  The rest of the year, typically when public schools are in session, Versluis Park is open from 7:00 a.m. to sunset.

Versluis Park Grand Rapids

When you arrive at Versluis Park, you will have the choice of parking in two lots after you pay the entrance fee. One is closer to the beach area and one is closer to the shaded picnic area.

How to Get to Versluis Park

Versluis Park

3650 Versluis Park NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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4 thoughts on “Versluis Park in Plainfield Twp is Your Beach when you Don’t want to Drive to the Big Lake”

  1. Pingback: Cool Off with Water Fun! « Grand Rapids Kids Blog

  2. Do people really pay $8 to go there? I mean were there others there?
    $8 really seems a bit steep and then not allowing foot traffic. Wow.
    Just seems really (really) uppity to me. And uppity never did feel “family friendly.”
    I guess what I’m really saying is, you couldn’t pay me $8 to take my kids there!

    Just wanted to suggest another alternative too, Long Lake.
    Take 131 North to 17 mile road, turn left (west) and go a few miles (you’ll pass Algoma and Pine Island, and Olan Lakes road) then just before Long Lake road is the entrance to the park.
    They have a playground, swimming area, (no lifeguard) picnic areas and other areas to fish around the park (no fishing allowed in the swimming area) and a changing house with bathrooms.

    And….. it’s all FREE and well maintained by the Kent County Parks.

    1. When I went to Versluis Lake it was quite busy. They charge by the vehicle, so I guess if you took a van load it would be a better deal than a 2-seater. I know that Plainfield Township residents can get a season pass for $15 because their taxes support the park. Maybe they do it so it doesn’t get too crowded? It isn’t a huge park, and I’m thinking that it would be overwhelmed by people if it were free.

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