After a nice visit to Sanders Park, we decided to go on a bit of an adventure. Surely, there must be more parks around here, we thought. A brief Google search suggested that yes, there were more parks in the area. Huzzah! We chose our next park at random and ended up in Somers at 7th Place Overlook Park.
This park (and I’m using the term loosely) is a bit… odd. Were it not for this sign, we wouldn’t have known we were at a park. Rather, it felt like we were wandering through a stranger’s yard. The narrow “park” is on a dead-end road (7th Pl.) opposite three or four houses, with one swing set (which I cannot confirm is actually part of the park; it might belong to one of the houses!) and a small bike rack. Closer to the lake there is also a brick oven or chimney of some kind, and pictures online show a picnic table (which I don’t recall seeing during our visit)… And that about sums it up!
Seriously. Here’s the description from the Village of Somers website:
This beautiful 2 acre site is one of three drainage swales connecting Highway 32 with Lake Michigan. Owned by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, they offered this area to Somers for park use. This drainage swale was chosen for a park for its lakefront access and beautiful views of Lake Michigan. This space is designated for passive use and it is a perfect quiet place to take in the beauty of Lake Michigan. A bench and picnic table overlooking Lake Michigan is available for your pleasure.
Yikes. I mean, I have no idea what it looked like before it was a park; maybe this project greatly improved things! But I can tell you, thanks to Google Street View’s spotty updates, that this does not appear to be a natural swale. Check out the 2007 view (left) versus the 2017 view (right):
Here’s the conversation as I imagine it.
Wisconsin DOT: Hey, we need some way to direct excess water out to the lake, so we’re going to tear up the land over on 7th Place.
Somers: Ugh, do you have to? People live there.
WisDOT: Well, you can use it as a park when we’re done, as long as you’re willing to maintain it!
Somers: A park? That space isn’t big enough for anything! What are people going to do there?
WisDOT: It’s right by the lake. Tell them it’s an overlook!
Somers: I’m not sure…
OK, maybe it isn’t that bad. It is a nice little green-space (emphasis on little). And you definitely can see Lake Michigan. If you’re in the area and are looking for a quiet place to sit and read, I can see where this might be just the spot. For much of anything else, though, I would suggest you keep on driving.
I’m not planning a return trip for this one, but for anyone who really wants to visit:
- 7th Pl. Overlook Park is on Highway 32 in the Village/Town of Somers in Kenosha County.
- There is “limited parking” on 7th Pl. According to the sign, there is no parking between 2AM and 6AM.