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Guide to Metro Detroit Beaches and Parks for July 4th Weekend

Swimming Holes and Great Lakes

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As might be expected, the Great "Lake" State has plenty of swimming and beach opportunities. From small swimming holes to Great Lake beaches, the Metro Detroit area has it all. Your guide to Metro Detroit Beaches and Parks for July 4th Weekend includes crowd information, boat rental availability, general descriptions and other amenity information. And don't forget other wet and wild options: Metro Detroit area water parks and slides.

Brighton: Brighton Recreation Area

Bishop Lake allows swimming by a picnic area, but there is no real sand “beach.” Amenities include boat rentals, concession stand and volleyball court.

Chilson Pond has a big lawn with a wetland-type swimming area containing marshy, brown water. Fishing is allowed and the area has a concession stand, volleyball court, boat rental and a play ground.

Brighton: Island Lake Recreation Area

The Kent Lake beach area has a large lawn and sprawling beach area with rough, dirt-like sand. The swimming area is large with warm water. Canoes are popular and can be rented along with paddleboats, rowboats and bicycles. The area is close to a freeway, the noise of which sometimes filters through the sound of splashing water. There is also a fishing dock.

The Spring Mill Pond area has a more scrubby lawn area with a beach frontage that doesn’t seem as well maintained. The water is somewhat brown. The area does, however, have a large concession stand and boat rental. Island Lake Recreation Area is off of Kensington Road.

Clarkston: Independence Oaks County Park

The beach area is small and narrow on a small, man-made lake. Fresh water is pumped into it to make a current and the water is very clear. There is a shallow, roped-off swimming area manned by lifeguards and a floating dock where the water gets deeper. The sand on the beach front is coarse. The beach area has a large concession stand and boat rental. A boat launch is also available. Independence Oaks County Park is off of Sashabaw Road.

Commerce Township: Proud Lake Recreation Area

The beach area is on a relatively small pond area on Proud Lake. It is man made with trucked-in sand. The area does, however, have a small island for fishing that is reachable by wading in the water. Campers and boaters have a separate, small beach with a boat ramp. Proud Lake Recreation Area is off of Wixom Road.

Detroit: Belle Isle

Situated on Belle Isle, an island on the Detroit River by downtown Detroit, the beach is a mile-and-a-half long and provides a great view of summer activities along the Detroit River. The sand is coarse, but gives way to cleaner sand by the water. The water is not that clear, but it can be swimmed in. In addition to a concession stand and water slide, there are several other attractions on the island. The area also hosts jazz concerts on some evening throughout the summer.

Holly: Groveland Oaks County Park

The beach area is not that large. It has soft sand and the swimming area is roped off and patrolled by life guards. It also has a concession stand with terrace, waterslide, large playscape, mini-golf, bike rental, camping and three rentable islands. Groveland Oaks is off of Dixie Highway.

Holly: Holly Recreation Area

Heron Lake has a large, long beach and the lake is fed with natural spring water. The area is often crowded with young adults and towels as far as the eyes can see. Although spring fed, the water has a brownish green tinge. In addition to a concession stand and boat rental, the beach area has a volleyball court.

Wildwood Lake is much quieter and more remote with more shade trees. Again the water is brownish green. Holly Recreation Area is off of Grange Hall Road.

Holly: Seven Lakes State Park

The beach area is somewhat removed from the park entrance and has a large meadow leading up to the beach that is used for special events, such as a hot-air balloon launching. The beach itself is 800-feet long with a large area of gravely, dirt-like sand. More shade can be found for picnics nearby. The beach area has a large concession stand offering food and beach merchandise. There is also a play structure, volleyball court and boat rental. Seven Lakes State Park is a good family beach with special events. It is located off of Fish Lake Road.

Lake Orion: Bald Mountain Recreation Area

The beach area has a large, sandy area. It also has a hilly, grassy area adjacent. The water is clear, shallow and good for small children. Bald Mountain Recreation Area is located off of M-24 (Lapeer Road).

Leonard: Addison Oaks County Park

More of a swimming hole than a lake beach, the beach area is not conducive for large, holiday crowds. It has a lawn and life guards. It also has a concession area with a large, outdoor deck and wooden play structure. Addison Oaks County Park is located off of Romeo Road.

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