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DNR State Property “Hidden Gems” Including Point Beach State Forest near Two Rivers | WTAQ News Talk | 97.5 FM · 1360 AM

Point Beach State Forest boardwalk to Lake Michigan, May 20, 2024. PC: Fox 11 Online

MANITOWOC COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) — Many people have their favorites, but when it comes to spending time outdoors, visiting a state park may be at the top of the list.

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the Department of Natural Resources has released four “Hidden Gems” for people to explore.

“The paths here are very beautiful. I hike a lot and they are great in the woods, as well as on the beach,” said Keith Gibeault of Two Rivers.

When hiker Keith Gibeault discovered Point Beach State Forest was on the hidden gems list, he says he wasn’t surprised.

“That’s great. Because I really believe it is. It’s hard to say if it’s a hidden gem. For us, the locals, we know it’s a lot of fun. But probably the people from out of town know not much of it,” he said.

The 3,000-acre site, just north of Two Rivers, features more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails. There are also six miles of beach along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Point Beach State Forest Superintendent Erin Dembski-Rodriguez says the U.S. Coast Guard’s 115-foot Rawley Point Lighthouse is a very short walk from the park’s main entrance.

“It is owned and operated by the federal government. So it is on private property. You can’t go there directly, but we have a path about 10 meters away from the lighthouse. So you can get a very good view of the lighthouse. And that path takes you to the beach. And if you go south, you can get a view of the lighthouse from the beach and take a photo,” said Erin Dembski-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Point Beach State Forest.

Levels in Lake Michigan are hovering just above the long-term average for May, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

‘There will be a beach. There will be plenty of beach. Water levels are approximately normal. So there will be plenty of beach for people to come to this summer,” Dembski-Rodriguez said.

“It’s always nice when the water is a little lower. Then the beaches are ideal to take the grandchildren outside and enjoy the surroundings,” says Gibeault.

According to the DNR, there are more than 100 state parks, forests and trails to explore.