The Midwest part of the United States is often referred to as the heartland. The natives of the Heartland are often perceived as wholesome, hearty, and somewhat staid. Both coasts seem to be way ahead of the Midwest area of the country when it comes to cultural and political change. But, there is one area where the Midwest is on top of the game. Midwesterners practice nudism or naturism as much as its coastal neighbors.
“The meanings of naturism and nudism are very similar, and refer to a cultural and political movement practicing, advocating and defending social nudity in private and public spaces. Several other terms (“social nudity” as well as “public nudity”, and recently: “clothes-free”) have been proposed as a replacement of these terms, but none has yet found the same wide-spread acceptance as the older terms naturism and nudism”. This from Wikepedia. Obviously, this practice has been going on for a very long time – and in a multitude of places.
Here are seven places in the Heartland, where those who are ready to shed their inhibitions and other sorts of effects can make do:
1) Sunny Haven Recreation Park – this nudist recreation park is close to South Bend, Indiana. There are more than 20 acres here and it is a very modern nudist park. People come here not only for camping, but daytime recreation, as well.
2) Lake ‘O’ the Woods Club – this club is wholly owned by its membership and is family oriented. It is located 15 miles east of I-65 on US-30. The Club is located on 130 acres of woods and also has a 20 acre lake. There are sand beaches, rowboats, paddleboats and fishing. They encourage visitors. This nudist club has been around since 1933.
3) Whispering Oaks Nudist Resort – This nudist resort is located north of Oxford, Michigan. Also family oriented, this is a stress free environment populated by members from every occupation – all are positive and relaxed.
4) Forest Hills Nudist Resort Report – Located 20 miles east of Grand Rapids, Michigan, this resort was established in the 1950’s. Owned by members and sits on 45 acres of land. Paths for hiking, an L shaped pool, and a rustic atmosphere.
5) Northcoast Naturists – this is a nude recreation club with over 200 members. Northcoast has a full roster of activities each year, including twice monthly nude swims in winter and a winter-optional bowling league
6) Paradise Gardens – Known as Ohio’s only centrally located nudist campground, Paradise Gardens if located in Newark, Ohio. Paradise Gardens offers year round pool tournaments, darts and a chili- cook off.
7) Blue Lake Club – “the shedding of our clothes, not our morals” is a statement welcoming visitors to their web site. Blue Lake Club is located in Rock River, Illinois.
The park sits on 20 acres of campground amid a 98 acres farm.
Naturism or nudism is a lifestyle practiced by many people in the world. The history of wearing clothes brings the subject of nudism to light in a different context. Apparently, the human body does not really need clothes if the weather is warm and temperate. Queen Victoria pretty much ended all arguments about wearing clothes in public – but as in all social issues there are always those who stick to their guns.
So, for those in the Midwest, the Heartland, if you will, there are places where the family and yourself can go to enjoy life au natural’. Just remember to watch for clothing optional signs.