Friday, August 14, 2015

Get Your Beach Time in Before Summer Ends

The water is still quite cold!
It's at this time of year that I begin to panic because I know Fall is right around the corner and Milwaukee's beach time is quickly drawing to a close.  It's not that you can't use the water because the calendar says it's September, it's just that services become minimal or go away completely after Labor Day.

We decided to go to Klode Park Beach yesterday evening for a swim. It's the only beach in Whitefish Bay that allows swimming, but you can't launch boats here.  For kayaks, Big Bay/Buckley Park is nearby but without facilities of any kind.  It wasn't crowded but we weren't alone.  A woman sorting rocks with a small zip lock bag of beach glass she had collected in the four hours she'd been there.  An entire team of people training for a triathlon- some in wetsuits. High school or college aged kids climbing the huge white rocks (which by the way is not encouraged).  A family with a couple of young kids getting their feet wet.  A photographer doing a senior photo shoot of a pretty girl. A couple of teenage boys were skipping rocks- there's a seemingly endless supply at this park.  I got my feet wet and though it was a bit chilly, but warmer than it was 2 weeks ago!  My son dove under and swam, without regard to the temperature at all.  It's a beautiful beach, though there are no lifeguards.  There is also no public restroom or changing area near the beach.  You really have to plan ahead and use the toilets way on the other side of the park on the bluff (near the tennis courts), which is a bit inconvenient though not unlike most beaches in Milwaukee.

Klode Park Beach

Some people swim without a wet suit

Beach glass comes up in about every tenth handful of rocks

Bradford Beach has one more week of lifeguards, though the beach rentals are still open through Labor Day. We tried to go kayaking there a couple of times but it has been pretty windy, and though wind keeps it cooler, it's better for skilled kayakers to be out on the lake.  Instead we opted for flying kites at Veterans Park and getting a humongous Chocolate Shoppe ice cream at the Gift of Wings, then taking a pedal boat out on the lagoon. We noticed ropes at Bradford Beach this year to keep the beach area watched by lifeguards more manageable, though the water has been so cold that very few people are actually swimming.  Most are just getting splashed or wading.  The county parks department used some funding for additional beach clean-up including removing the birds that often create a bacteria problem in the water, so the water has been pretty good this year.  You can always check the latest testing results at Beach Health Homepage, which includes all beaches along the Wisconsin great lakes.  Milwaukee County has their own page which includes additional information you will find useful about the beaches.
Wheel Fun Rentals is open at Veterans Park through September 30

Kite flying is always good near the lake
Not sure where to find a beach?  Check out the County Parks Beaches website for the list which includes all county beaches.  There's also Atwater Beach in Shorewood, as well as Klode Park which I mentioned above.
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