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Stay & Play: Area beaches offer a place to cool off

Mary Park in New Richmond touts a beach along the Willow River widespread.

When the summer temperatures rise, local residents often seek out a nice public beach where they can cool off.

There are 11 spots to choose from across St. Croix County.

Among the choices:

• Mary Park, 156 E. First St., New Richmond. With restroom, playground and picnic facilities nearby, the local beach is a popular spot for families.

• Willow River State Park, 1034 County Road A, Hudson. Users are required to have a park entrance sticker in order to use the beach. The park, which attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually, has a campground, a boat launch, and a 400-foot beach and picnic area centered on 172-acre Little Falls Lake. A great place to spend a day or more.

• Homestead Parklands on Perch Lake, 550 Perch Lake Road, Hudson. The nice beach area includes picnic facilities. The park does boast a playground, but it's quite a distance away.

• Lakefront Beach, 505 Third St., Hudson. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer at this downtown park. There are picnic facilities and a playground nearby.

• Brown's Beach, 400 Seventh St., North Hudson. A half-acre swimming beach right on the St. Croix River. The beach is open from mid-June through mid-August. Lifeguards are on duty from noon to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

• Pembles Beach, Glenmont Rd. in the Town of Troy, Hudson.

• Hinman Park, Glenwood City.

• Troy Beach, 490 County Road F, Hudson. A seven-acre day-use park on the St. Croix River, a national scenic river way. Facilities include swimming beach, picnic tables, grills, bath change house, pit toilets, horseshoe pits. The swimming area is designated by buoys with no lifeguards provided. The park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Vehicle admission sticker required.

• Glen Hills Park, 1049 Rustic Road #3, Glenwood City. A 700-acre full service park surrounding the beautiful 84-acre Glen Lake. Besides a swimming beach, there are picnic and playground facilities, as well as camping and boat rentals. Admission sticker is required.

• Eau Galle Rec Area, Spring Valley. Sandy beach, along with playgrounds, hiking trails and picnic areas.

• YMCA Beach, 532 County Road F, Hudson.

Safe waters

Since 2003, Environmental Health Specialist for St. Croix County, Edward Thurman, has been testing public beaches to determine if the water is safe.

"We're extremely fortunate in St. Croix County," he said. "Every one of our beaches is extremely safe."

About the only time a St. Croix County beach's health declines is after a "significant rain event" that washes run-off into the water. Thurman said E. coil levels will often spike 24 to 48 hours after such a big rain storm.

For a complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.