Share this article

print logo

Where the beaches are Western New York has public access to Lake Erie and Ontario and the Niagara River now that summer is in full swing

> Erie County

Beaver Island State Park

Where: 2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island.

Hours: Beach is open to swimming from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends starting today through June 24 and then daily from June 25 to Sept. 3.

Fee: $7 per vehicle when toll booths are open. Admission charged 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends from today through Sept. 3, as well as 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday from June 25 to Sept. 3.

Phone: 773-3271.

What to expect: Half-mile long sandy beach on the Niagara River, 950-acre park includes clubhouse with catering and banquet capacity, marina, picnic shelters, golf, disc golf and orienteering.

Bennett Beach

Where: 8276 Lake Shore Road at Bennett Road, Evans.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekends and holidays only now, including today, Sunday and Monday; no swimming yet. Balance of summer to be announced mid to late June.

Fees: Free.

Phone: 858-8355.

What to expect: Sandy beach with impressive dunes on Lake Erie, with large concrete foundation on beach between dunes and swimming area. Access the beach, which is operated by Erie County, by crossing a picturesque wooden foot bridge over Big Sister Creek. Picnicking, area for windsurfing.

Evangola State Park

Where: 10191 Lake Shore Road, Brant.

Hours: Swimming from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday as well as June 2, 3, 9 and 10. Then, daily from June 16 to Sept. 3.

Fees: $7 per car when there is swimming, $6 when there is no swimming. Admission charged 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: 549-1802.

What to expect: Expansive park features a natural sand beach and low shale cliffs on Lake Erie, picnic facilities and banquet room, camping, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, disc golf and hiking.

Evans Town Park

Where: 8965 Lake Shore Road, Evans.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., swimming at your own risk from noon to 7 p.m. There are no lifeguards on duty until June 30. Fee: $5 sticker, senior citizens free. Park open to town residents only.

Phone: 549-0970.

What to expect: Multipurpose park has swimming, horseshoe pits, baseball diamond, volleyball court, tennis courts, basketball court and basketball/roller hockey court.

Hamburg Town Beach

Where: 4420 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg.

Hours: Opening today. Swimming from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fee: $15 sticker, $5 for senior citizens. Beach open to town residents only.

Phone: 627-4168 or 646-5145.

What to expect: Sandy beach, fitness center and boat launch.

Lake Erie Beach Park

Where: 9568 Lake Shore Road, Evans.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., swimming at your own risk from noon to 7 p.m. There are no lifeguards on duty until June 30.

Fee: Free.

Phone: 549-0970.

What to expect: Small, 5.3-acre park includes a five-acre beach area, with picnic tables, play area and basketball courts. Parking somewhat limited.

Wendt Beach

Where: 7676 Lake Shore Road, Evans.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekends and holidays only now, including today, Sunday and Monday; no swimming yet. Balance of summer schedule to be announced in mid to late June.

Fees: Free.

Phone: 858-8355.

What to expect: Beach is less sandy and has a grassy bluff and more shale, less crowded for wind surfers than Bennett. Once used as the summer home of the Henry W. Wendt Jr. family, the grounds feature a caretaker's cottage and main house, as well as picnic areas, hiking and soccer fields.

Woodlawn Beach State Park

Where: 3580 Lake Shore Road, off Route 5 at Route 179 traffic circle, Hamburg.

Hours: Opening today, dawn to dusk, swimming from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Fee: $7 per car when there is swimming, $6 when there is no swimming. A $50 season pass is new for 2012.

Phone: 826-1930.

What to expect: One-mile-long natural sand beach, nature center, interpretive nature boardwalk through wooded wetlands, banquet room and restaurant. Beach has been closed frequently in the past due to poor water quality. Open to the general public, operated by the Town of Hamburg. A restaurant will be open today, and the beach will also include new bounce houses.

* * *

> Niagara County

Olcott Beach Carousel Park and Krull Park

Where: 5979 Main St. and 6108 Lake Road, Olcott.

Hours: This is opening weekend at the parks. Carousel Park is open from noon to 6 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday. June hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays From July through Labor Day, the park is open from 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Labor Day, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays.

At Krull Park, it's open year round from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; swimming starts this weekend and runs through September from noon to 7 p.m. in the guarded area only.

Fees: Free.

Phone: Carousel Park, 778-7066; and Krull Park, 778-7711.

What to expect: Northern part of park, referred to as Olcott Beach, includes sandy swimming beach on Lake Ontario and a mix of walkways, pavilions and picnic tables. Southern part of 325-acre park is family recreation area, with playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts and a new water park.

Wilson-Tuscarora State Park

Where: 3371 Lake Road, Wilson

Hours: The park opened daily on Friday. Starting June 23, there will be swimming from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sept. 3. Boat launch opened on April 14 and remains open through Oct. 14. Its hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fees: $7 per car when there is swimming, $6 when there is no swimming. Season-long Empire Pass is $65. Admission charged 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone: 751-6361.

What to expect: Small swimming beach on Lake Ontario. Fishing popular from boats or from shore. Woods, open meadows and marshland include four-mile nature trail. Connected to nearby Roosevelt Beach by Noble Drive.