You see the headline "Six Beaches in Kalamazoo..." and immediately a red flag goes off, because this year has taught us the hard way, take nothing for granted. But as we've seen in just the past two weeks. It's still gets very hot here, and this year more than most, we'll be doing stay-cations rather than vacations.

When I ran across Discover Kalamazoo story, the first thing I did was google "are beaches safe to swim in". A tourism website put it best. "Virus Threat creates unease in Michigan summer tourism haven.", but that applies to just about anywhere.

Well, apparently they are. Here's the official line. The CDC says there's no evidence of coronavirus spreading in the water. What officials want to stress through, is social distancing rules apply both at the beach and in the water. Stay away from people when you are swimming. And make sure the kids stay at least six feet apart while playing in the sand, etc.

It difficult start everything with three paragraphs of qualifiers, but you can't really avoid it, either.

But Discover Kalamazoo's job is to promote local places and events, and they put together a list of six beach in Kalamazoo that are worth going to, especially with the recent mini heatwaves, and also being told to stay home for three months.

A couple of these are hidden gems for many.

Photo: Bobby Guy, TSM

Number one on their list is Markin Glen Park. It's just north of downtown Kalamazoo, and many bicyclists are familiar with the area. But there's people like me who have lived here a long time and probably passed the road marker on D Ave, and have never been there. Judging by the pictures, it's look pretty.

Photo courtesy City of Kalamazoo

Number two on the list is Woods Lake Park, off Oakland Drive and Parkview. The City of Kalamazoo has been rehabbing this park over the past few years.

Number three is Ramona Park in Portage. It's easy to drive by it, on Sprinkle Road, but once you're in, it is pretty special, with the beach on the small part of Long Lake.

Number four truly lives up to the term "hidden gem". Robert Morris Park in Comstock and if your driving along H Ave, you really have to pay attention or you'll drive right past it. It's a nice beach, and for people is Comstock and the eastern part of Kalamazoo County, it's a short ride.

Prairie View Park in south Portage is number five on their list. Familiar to Portage residents, but maybe not so much for people in other parts of the county.

Google Maps

Finally on the list is Cold Brook Park in Climax. Many people forget Climax is in Kalamazoo County, because it's a bit off the beaten path, but for a new place to explore, it might be fun to take a ride. And don't forget the sunscreen.

As mentioned before, an aspect to consider, is a lot of people with be doing "stay-cations" this year, and places like Cold Brook Park offer (limited, this year) opportunities to camp, too.

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