I have never swam in Lake Erie before, and seeing I have lived my whole life in Michigan, I thought I should. Now I live in west michigan where the west side of our state has many beautiful beaches with lots of sand. So I am bias, my review of Sterling State Park.
The good: the park is nice with lots of trails, boat launch, small lakes for fishing, lots of changing rooms with toilets in them, covered picnic areas, grills, volley ball areas, and lots of large trees by waters edge for sitting in the shade. There are so many large trees along the waters edge, one every 30 yards or so that it's hard to tell how many people are at the beach because everybody moves down the beach to sit under the trees , it is very nice.
The bad: there is a very large coal power plant that looms over the park.
The ugly: the water and mud, the water looks bad and nasty close to shore about the first 10 yards is the worst area, so if you have small children who like to play by the shore, I wouldn't advise it, go somewhere else. But the water is much better away from shore, but about 50 yards out, the sand stops and you walk in about 3/4 of a inch of mud that feels like sludge that squeezes between your toes. Also the sand area by the water is very small.
The surprise: for being close to Detroit and Detroit hard core image, I meet at least a dozen very nice and friendly people there, it was hard to believe. I sat beside a couple with there family who was from around Detroit who invited me to join them for lunch. I declined , but it sure made me feel special and made my day.
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