Walworth County beaches a 'shore thing'

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Dennis Hines | July 20, 2014

WALWORTH COUNTY — So the summer of 2014 hasn't been a scorcher so far. But that hasn't cooled enthusiasm for sand and sun at beaches around Walworth County.

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Here's a glimpse of what's going on at some popular waterside spots:

• Riviera Beach, 626 Geneva St., Lake Geneva

Attendance has remained steady at the beach along Geneva Lake, said George Steffen, co-manager at the city beach.

“Weather is the contributing factor to attendance,” Steffen said. “If the weather forecast is good, we get people from Chicago and the Chicago suburbs.”

Visitors, locals and travelers alike, are drawn to the well-maintained beach, he said.

“Basically, it's a place where people can come to relax,” Steffen said. “The sand is cleaned virtually every day. The water is tested weekly for bacteria counts. The water is clean and clear.”

The beach is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty during regular hours and swimming lessons are available some days. There is a fee.

For more information, call (262) 749-4309.

• Big Foot Beach State Park, 1550 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Geneva

A sand beach is just the beginning at this location, as the state park also features picnic areas, hiking trails, campsites, a prairie area and fishing piers.

“(The park) is in a great location. It's just a couple of miles from downtown Lake Geneva,” said Matt Daniels, assistant property manager for Big Foot Beach State Park. “It's something nice for the community to have.”

“During the past couple of years, we've attracted about 200,000 people annually,” Daniels said. “That includes people who are camping, picnicking and visiting the beach.”

Big Foot Beach State Park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with the beach open  Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is a park entry fee per vehicle.

For more information, call (262) 248-2528.

“No matter if people come in to hike, picnic or go to the beach, it's one fee,” Daniels said.

• Veteran's Memorial Park beach, north of Walworth Avenue, Delavan

Affordability and accessibility are key factors for the beach at Veteran's Memorial Park, said Tom Klug, Delavan park and recreation director.

“It offers a friendly atmosphere for people to come use it. It's fenced in,” Klug said of the beach on the western edge of Lake Comus. “People can see it from the road, and it's a nice affordable amenity for the people in town to use.”

The beach is open from noon to 7 p.m. daily until Aug. 10.

“It's a nice beach. It's staffed by certified lifeguards,” he said. “The staff keeps the water clean.”

Besides the beach, Veteran's Memorial Park features a baseball field, youth softball field, t-ball field, skate park, playground area, picnic areas, sand volleyball court and Mill Pond Recreation Building.

“We get a regular clientele that comes to the beach,” Klug said. “This year, we've had a day care center that has come to the beach.

“The beach is next to the skate park, so we get a lot of skateboarders who come to the beach, as well.”

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