Tucked away on the east side of Libertyville is truly a hidden gem. Just a few blocks off of the beaten path from downtown Libertyville you will find the magnificent, spring-fed Lake Minear and Beach. Since 1957, Lake Minear beach has provided a place of rest, relaxation and recreation for local residents.
Lake Minear is operated by the not-for-profit Libertyville Boat Club and is supported by a cadre of dedicated, local volunteers. Members of Lake Minear can enjoy seasonal swimming, individual private swimming lessons, year-round fishing, sand volleyball, playground equipment for all ages, and concessions. The lake is nestled within a wooded area, and is fenced-in, including a private parking lot adjacent to the beach.
Lake Minear Beach is a no-frills, natural area with beautiful vistas and wonderful clean sand. Overall, the property is inviting, clean and well-kept with flowers and shrubs along the pathways. The beach abiance is relaxing and unassuming, and very family-friendly. The swimming area is roped off into sections, one for beginner swimmers, and another for more experienced swimmers. Experienced swimmers will also enjoy the challenge of swimming to the floating raft. There are three Red Cross-certified lifeguards on duty at all times at the beach to ensure the safety of all guests.
The fishing area is a distinctly separate bay from the recreation area. The lake is stocked with Crappie, Bass, Bluegill, Walleye, Catfish, and Northern Pike, and catch and release fishing is encouraged. Boats with motors of 10 horsepower or less are allowed on the lake.
There is so much to do at Lake Minear. Play in the sand. Spash in the cool, clear water. Enjoy a private swim lesson. Play sand volleyball (ball and net provided at the beach). Swing barefoot on the swings. Fish in the shaded bay. Plan a family picnic or spend the day and grill a meal (picnic tables and grills are available for use). Still hungry? Let the concession stand fix you up a pizza or fetch you a snack or a delicious, frozen treat. Alcoholic beverages, however, are not permitted at the beach.
In keeping with the natural ambiance, Lake Minear does not have a permanent, indoor bath house or changing rooms. There are, however, several porta-potties and an outdoor shower. These amenities are consistently clean, and there is a large outdoor sink and hand sanitizer available. A two-piece swimsuit is helpful to navigate the facilities. There is also a foot shower, located near the parking lot, to power rinse the sand off of little (and big) feet and toys before you reach the car.
My family and I spent many summers at Lake Minear soaking up the sun and splashing and swimming in the lake. And we still visit at least once per year. You can come and go as you please, the location is convenient to downtown Libertyville to get a bite to eat, or to pick up food, and it is almost guaranteed that you will leave with happy, tired children. My kids seldom made the 10-minute drive home before they fell into a slumber in the car.
The Des Plaines River Trail is also close by, if your family is up to adding hiking or biking to your visit to the lake. Lake Minear also offers beach rentals to members, and holds several special events for members during the season. Several options for membership are available, including family, individual, senior, a limited membership (a 10-punch, “refillable” card) — which is great if you want to try out the beach without a season pass, and year-round fishing. Memberships are conveniently sold online.
I’ve never regretted a family trip to beautiful Lake Minear Beach. Purchase your membership, round up the sand toys and plan your visit today. What are you waiting for?
Editor’s Note: Lake Minear Beach is located near areas that experienced extreme flooding in early July 2017. Please check the Facebook page and website to be sure the beach is open before visiting.