Sand and wheelchairs or strollers don’t normally mix. Nor do the shifting grains on the shores of Lake Michigan lend themselves to strolls on the beach for elderly people, those with disabilities or families with small children.
But the city of Manistee provided these large and growing segments of our population the opportunity to get closer to the big lake than they ever had before when a barrier-free walkway was installed at Fifth Avenue beach. This, and an open and accessible beach house have drawn many to the city’s northside, where visitors and residents alike gather to gaze at the lighthouse, watch the sun sink below the horizon or make a picnic of the special concessions.
Universal accessibility to water and throughout the entire community is the theme for some bold new waterfront developments that will further expand the Explore the Shores program. A new pavilion and beach house has recently been built at First Street beach, providing amenities that are consistent with Manistee’s world-class sugar sand beach.
A new, universally accessible fish cleaning station is available at Douglas Park/First Street Beach, providing a state-of-the-art facility for anglers to clean and care for the tons of Great Lakes salmon and trout and other species that are landed from this port each year. These facilities feature universal design and access so that people of all ages, needs and abilities can fully enjoy their trip to the beach for all forms of outdoor recreation.
- Concessions are available at each beach house with restroom facilities
- Playground equipment for children
- A new universally accessible playground area at Douglas Park was recently installed by the Manistee Rotary, City of Manistee and other area partners.
- Handicap parking available
- Emergency service stations
- Universally accessible walkways from the parking lot areas to the waters edge