BRIDGMAN — Weko Beach in Bridgman has been a sunny, pleasant place to swim, sunbathe and camp during the summer of 2021.
“We had a very successful season, even with the beaches being back open in Indiana and Illinois,” said Bridgman Parks & Recreation Director Sara Ball. “We are still seeing our loyal customers coming in, and the campground has been full every single weekend, and we’re still seeing high volume for the beach lot on weekends.”
Ball noted that traffic at the beach has slowed down on weekdays recently due to the start of school in Illinois and Indiana.
Also staying busy are the city’s three campgrounds (which offer a total of 68 sites and seven cabins).
“All the cabins are booked every weekend until we close,” she said, adding that campsites are booked about every weekend in September and are fast filling up for the final two weeks, although weekdays still have openings.
Camping season at Weko Beach runs until Oct. 17 (the last overnight stay is on the 16th).
Ball said the Weko Beach boat ramp has been open since mid July when the state provided a permit following needed work at the site. The ramp stays open a couple of weeks into October, weather permitting.
“It’s been busy. We get a lot of Hobie cat users … and small fishing craft,” she said.
Ball said watercraft are limited to 20 feet “due to the structure of it and how shallow it can be” while “Jet Skis” aren’t permitted.
Use of the boat ramp requires a daily permit or seasonal pass (for more go to Bridgman.org).
Ball said she had plenty of “great employees” for the 2021 season.
“They were a delight to work with. Campers and beach-goers seemed overall to be happy with our park and our facilities. It was just a really successful season for us.”
Ball said she notices a lot of the same names registering for campsites year after year.
“It’s a good place … They’ve got good people and it’s a great town,” a camper noted on Aug. 27, adding that he and his wife have been coming to Weko Beach for over 40 years.
Ball said the summer season has gone smoothly, with just normal maintenance/repairs, She said the city DPW also built new stairs connecting the boardwalk to the beach.
The summer’s final Sunset Concert at the Weko Beach House is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, with the band Time Travelers.
Ball said the daily sunset playing of “Taps” at the beach ends on Labor Day, which also is the last day to get snacks and drinks at the concession stand. Beginning the next day (Sept. 6) those visiting Weko Beach are no longer charged an entrance fee.
Ball said the retaining wall between a dune and the boardwalk on the south side of the parking lot (toward Warren Dunes State Park) is slated to be rebuilt in September and October. She said an alternate path for those walking dogs to the state park will be marked (and explained on the city website) once the project is under way.