While the city of Hancock sits along the Portage Canal, it has always lacked accessible public shoreline. For over a century most of the city’s waterfront had been overrun with industry – rail yards, treatment plants, smelters, and docks. Even when those industries finally left, the shore along the city was too steep and too rocky to accommodate a public beach. The solution was to place the beach on the city’s eastern outskirts, along 28 acres of undeveloped shoreline known as the Hancock Recreation Area.
The Hancock Recreation area offers 300 feet of sandy beach that stretches far back from the water’s edge – offering plenty of space for sunbathing. A long pier reaches far out into the water along the beach’s western edge. The water drops off quickly here, but offers comfortable temperatures and a sandy bottom along the way. Inland from the beach is a rather large picnic area, shaded by a grove of tall hardwoods and pines. Nearby there are volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a large pavilion, and a scattering of playground equipment for the kids.
NOTES: Being within city limits, this beach is constantly one of the busiest especially during the peak of summer. Ample parking is provided which requires only a short walk through a grassy shaded lawn to the beach. Large changing rooms and bathrooms are also provided.
DIRECTIONS: From Hancock, follow M203 west out of town for about 1.4 miles. The beach is on the left just after a large curve.
FOR MORE INFO: More information about the Hancock Recreation Area can be found at the City of Hancock’s website.