Built by C&H, the Calumet Waterworks pumped fresh water out of Lake Superior for close to a century, serving not only the mine but Calumet and the surrounding communities as well. For even longer the lake shore near the pumping station has served as a public beach for the area’s populace – a tradition carried forward to today. The parks modern incarnation offers some 1600 feet of Lake Superior shoreline along with pavilions, picnic grounds, fire pits, horseshoe pits, and even a playground.
The beach here is a mix of sand and lake stone, dropping off rather quickly as it makes its way under the water. The beach’s wide swath is complimented by a sloping sand dune and short bluff on top of which stands the park’s picnic grounds. Access to the beach is provided by a three stairways – one of which is wheelchair accessible (unless heavy winds have covered the last leg of the ramp with sand). At the far eastern end of the beach lie the remains of the old concrete pier that once protected the pumping station’s water intake pipe.
The park’s generous picnic grounds are shaded by a rather open forest of White Birch, Maple and Oak. In addition to a collection of picnic tables and fire rings, the spacious grounds also feature a selection of covered shelters and a pair of large pavilions for large groups. Horseshoe pits and several rest rooms can be found scattered about as well. At the far east end of the park stands a large gazebo, joined by a large open field. Next door to the field in a shady grove of trees is a rather generously equipped playground complete with swing-sets, slides, jungle gyms, balance beams, and more.
NOTES: This day use park is very popular among locals and tourists alike and is used heavily in the summer months. Plenty of parking is provided, but the limited amount of shelters and picnic tables can fill up quickly. The plentiful amount of sandy beach, however, never seems crowded – even during peak use. Even though it sits at the base of a good sized sand dune, the beach itself can be reached easily by a series of wood stairs which descend from the parking and picnic area down to the shore.
DIRECTIONS: From Calumet, follow M203 (Pine Street) west out of town for 2 miles. Turn right onto Calumet Waterworks Road and follow it down the hill for another 2.4 miles. The park sits on the left, just past the sharp left curve in the road.