Hartland, WI + Beaver Lake
KC Liebert has lived on Beaver Lake her entire life, and both of her parents have also - her dad since 1945 and her mom since the 50s. KC and I went to the same grade and high school, but she lived ON the lake, making her the envy of land-locked gals like myself. Here is KC’s story...
I'm a proper Beaver Lake snob - born and raised. I have a hard time swimming in other lakes in the area, even though I know that they are just as clean…probably. Caribbean blue waters and no weeds = first choice every time. Anyone who has ever seen an aerial photo of Beaver Lake has had to pause for a moment...how on earth is that shade of blue possible for an inland lake?
Closest major city?
Milwaukee + Mitchell International are about 35-40 minutes away, making Hartland and Beaver Lake an easy commute from downtown.
Distance to nearest grocery store?
Beaver lake is less than 5 minutes from a few grocery options: Sendik’s/Piggly Wiggly/Pick n Save, and even the gas stations have lake day essentials if you don’t feel like putting on dry clothes for your food run.
Reason the lake is important to me?
This is my home. My parents have lived in the same house for 30+ years. My Grandma has lived on the lake since the 50’s. From my parents’ home, I can see the house where my dad grew up in, and this is really all I have ever known. My aunt and uncle live across the lake, and I have cousins “around the corner”(in another bay) on the lake. This is my family. There is just such a sense of community here. Everyone on a boat ride stops to wave or comes into the dock to say hi (or for some ice or a beer). Growing up, it felt like a huge pain, as everyone knew my business. One wrong move on my part resulted in a phone call to my parents and them knowing about what shenanigans happened before I even got back to the pier. It was basically the original social media, but I see now how it is basically built-in friends. Winters here are long, but that makes summer sweeter - everyone is out taking advantage of the weather when they can.
The 4th of July. Every year we start the day by going to the Stone Bank Parade- where we were active participants until an (slightly) embarrassing age. We spend time on the lake for the rest of the day, enjoying the fact that everyone is in good spirits. It’s the best holiday in my opinion, and lake-goers would likely agree. There are no presents or fuss over what is happening, everyone just wants to celebrate America’s birthday and have a good time - all that’s needed is warm, sunny weather and cold beer. At the end of the day, when you are a little too red from the sun and a little sleepy from the cocktails, the flares around the lake get lit and the fireworks begin. It is bittersweet- it means that summer is halfway over, but it is a magical day.
A second favorite lake tradition is actually a winter activity. When the lake just barely freezes though is strong enough to hold us and the ice is like glass, there is nothing more fun than skating. I love hearing the ice shift, keeping me on my toes. That feeling of skating on such a quiet setting is so freeing. To this day, nothing reminds me more of being a kid than being able to get out there and skate.
What do you do when it rains?
This is the opportunity to do the inside housework that you have been avoiding because of all the time spent outside. I remember one summer when I was home from college, I didn’t do laundry for about 6 weeks because I was basically living in my swimsuit.
Local joints to check out?
- North Lake Inn- Wednesday night all you can eat fried chicken, plus anytime for pizza or a burger
- Merton Sub Company- best for laying a good base and days spent on the lake
- Picnic Basket- one of the few delivery places around here should you not feel like leaving the boat
- Rosati’s- best pizza you can get around Waukesha County (Oconomowoc and Pewaukee locations)