Does Minneapolis Need Nude, Late-Night Beach?

Chain of Lakes seemingly popular among midnight skinny-dippers this summer.

So far this year, of in Southwest Minneapolis for swimming naked in Lakes Calhoun and Harriet.

A dig through the Minneapolis Police Department's archives confirms that most such incidents, or similar cases of people cited for being in a park after closing time, happened at Cedar Lake's Hidden Beach last year. If nude swimming in Harriet and Calhoun is a growing trend, does this suggest Minneapolis needs a dedicated, late-night nudist beach?

Two years ago, Golden Valley in Theo Wirth Park that had become a popular nude sunbathing and swimming location, much to the anger of residents near the lake.

Jubal Harshaw July 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Upper middle class folk can join a private nudist club and be among their own kind, keeping the unwashed poor away. What do poorer, younger folk get when they try to bathe and sun in this way? Arrested. Nude bathing is like breast feeding. Natural, enjoyable and dare I say it, God-given. So of course, there are segments of our society that want to restrict it, bottle it and then sell it back to you. The solution is political. We need a political movement to change the laws and allow nude bathing in selected locations, for free, and easily accessible to all segments of society.
sota767 July 11, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Well said Jubal. While it might not be for everybody there is a portion of us who would prefer to swim and lounge in the sun naked. Taking off your regular clothes to put on another set of clothes to get soaked in is pretty weird behavior when you think about it.
James Sanna (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Where would you put the beach, though? As we all know, an idea can seem really good to everyone until you put it right next to some folks' houses. If the Golden Valley experience is any guide (and, I admit, the comparison is limited), that's the crux of the problem.
James Sanna (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 04:57 PM
On that point—would you like to live next to one?
Danny Song July 11, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Cedar Lake's Hidden Beach was one for years, with no problems, there were no houses near by, today it would need to be a gated type system with a surcharge to maintain security, but I think a popular idea...
Jesse Lykken July 11, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Of course we should have a dedicated nude beach, Minneapolis being a beacon of civilization (as opposed to St. Paul and Richfield). Can't have the Guthrie and Target Field without having a nude beach. LIve next door to one? Absolutely! Isn't taking the occasional gander pretty much the whole point here ...
Phil Davis July 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Hold on, I think I remember... Ah, here it is I think this might be relevant to the conversation, depending on how serious you are (you probably just want to skim): http://www.drleisure.com/aanr_parks_beaches.pdf (not spam, I promise)
James Sanna (Editor) July 13, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Thanks for the note, Phil - a lot of folks have been posting spam on this story!
Jan-Anthony Micheals July 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Nude swimming has been a part of society for ages, It is only recently that it has become the a "sin" to be nude. As for living near a nude beach, no problem. It would not bother me to live near or on a nude beach.
Tom Pine July 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
It's time we got over this nudity thing. Forget the sexy-sexy, the sight of a naked body is not going to bring down the pillars of our society (a lot of other things my, but not simple nudity). As taxpayers, we naturists are just as entitled to our desires being accommodated, as it already is with so many other minorities. Are we a free and open society, or not? It's time for a change!
Bruce Baird August 02, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Nude beaches are great! That said, the idea that there are no problems associated with them in general and with Hidden Beach in particular is naive. I used to go to Hidden Beach often almost forty years ago, and it was not uncommon to encounter serious arguments and altercations there among some of the participants at night. It could also be very noisy, and an acquaintance of mine who lived nearby often found his yard littered with the detritus of the evening before.
Kim H August 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I was one of the people ticketed last summer at Hidden Beach. My friend and I were not naked, just trying to stay cool on July 19th (remember when the dewpoint hit record highs?) and ended up being there after 10 pm, although the police were polite, we were rounded up and made to stand in front of the headlight beams and got eaten up by mosquitoes. There were three different groups of people there. One group was naked. So what, I lived in Europe, and Australia which have more chilled views of the human body. I ended up with a misdemeanor charge, went and talked to the Park Board about this issue. I had to do 8 hours of community service instead of paying a $118 fine. The Park Board did intervene and had my service transferred from the county to the Park Board so I did not have to pick up trash on the freeways in the awful heat. More people die from heat related illnesses than tornadoes and hurricanes etc. I don't care what people are wearing if they are trying to stay cool (or avoid tan lines- at night this is a bit irrelevant). Put an emergency call box at the beach in case there are problems. And extra trash/recycle bins. Keep talking to your Park Board Commissioner about this. They need to hear from us. And have a late night life guard on! We don't need more drownings day or night (so support the Phillips pool getting its funding to help with this!)
Roger P August 08, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Perhaps we need a bigger group and to be able to prove the demand/need! I came across this new website www.wangle4.com that seems to do just that. It looks like we could spread the word through all our friends & their friends & other nudist, then use the Wangle4 results to show the advantages (economic, social, spiritual etc).
Leah July 18, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Only if Mike B shows up naked!!
Dave Timmons July 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM
J.P. July 24, 2013 at 09:02 PM
This article made me fondly recall my late-night skinny dipping in Lake Harriet with friends (who shall remain anonymous) decades ago. So long as the swimmers are quiet, don't disturb neighboring homeowners, and don't trash the area, what harm could there be in a late night swim in the buff?


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