According to an interview with mLive, Placid Wake Park's owner Scott Ferwerda can easily pinpoint the crown jewel of his wakeboarding park: a Sesitec System 2.0 cable that spans a 700-foot manmade lake.
"When you hit a rail and fall," Scott explains, the boat "has to come back and get you." Not so with cables. "With this, the operator sees you fall, stops the cable immediately, you swim 5 feet over to get a rope, and 10 seconds later, you are back up hitting the same things you just tried."
Riddled with optional obstacles, such as a pyramid playfully named the Ninja Turtle and a hydraulic rail on which to hide from creepy dragonflies, the cable lake is only one of Placid's two aquatic bodies. The boating lake branches out into three prongs, where wakeboarders, surfers, and waterskiers have the option to conquer currents the old-fashioned way—pulled by a boat and whistling the song from Steamboat Willie.
The park welcomes athletes of all ages and abilities, offering rental equipment and lessons with pro wakeboarders to individuals as well as families. On the shore, spectators can lounge on at picnic tables shaded by umbrellas or snag a front seat to the action atop an observation deck, and landlubbers can stay active by digging for seashells at the sand volleyball court.
As the sun dips below Coopersville Farm Museum and Event Center’s grain silo, local musicians gather in the high-ceilinged hall against the backdrop of patchwork quilts and antique farm tools. They sing gospel, country, and folk songs that have been passed down for generations. Events such as these are one facet of the museum’s mission to honor and uphold rural traditions. In addition to the monthly jam sessions, the 12,000-square-foot facility hosts quilting circles, line dancing, and other skill-swapping events. Curators spotlight the region’s agrarian past by recruiting antique-farming tools and folk art and freeing hopelessly lost scarecrows from corn mazes. In addition to shining a light on the region’s past, the museum strives to support current culture makers; The hall serves as a gallery space for local artists, and during the youth-led Kids’ Day local teens teach tykes creative skills.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
Grand Valley State University’s athletic department brings together competition enthusiasts of all ilks for a three-hour celebration of sport inside the Fieldhouse Arena. GVSU Women's Basketball players and their coaches facilitate the festivities, guiding adolescent athletes through pinch-hits, free-throws, touchdowns, breast-strokes, and whatever happens in soccer. All campers will put their new-found skills to work as they face off against peers in their age group under the single watchful eye shared by all of GVSU's student-athletes. The athletic camp is hosted on Grand Valley's manicured, verdant campus, and campers must enroll before July 11th.
At the 6,532-yard Pigeon Creek Golf Course, few trees border the fairways and 11 lakes dominate the wide-open layout. The water-laden design forces players to demonstrate deft control off the tee or convert underperforming wedges into fishing poles with divot-tool lures. If players can stay on dry land and efficiently roll their golf balls into the welcoming confines of the cup, they can make a play for the course par of 71.
Course at a Glance: