Jim Talkington wants people to enjoy getting outside. He’s doing his part to enhance the opportunities at Rock Cut State Park, where his business, Rock Cut Concessions, has been renting out boats, selling fishing and camping supplies, and running the Lone Rock Cafe. He also manages the Olson Beach swim area on the east side of the park.
“Our whole mission is to give people cost-effective, high-quality opportunities for recreation – to get people outside and doing things,” he says.
The outdoor store, located on the south side of Pierce Lake near the docks, is the main concession area at Rock Cut.
Along with selling a variety of fishing bait and tackle, ice, minnows, firewood, candy, ice cream, picnic and camping supplies, the Rock Cut Concession outdoor store rents canoes, single and double kayaks, pedal boats, row boats, stand-up paddleboards and jon boats.
There’s no charge to launch boats on Pierce Lake. People over age 16 need a fishing license, which can be purchased at the outdoor store.
Next door is the Lone Rock Cafe, serving high-quality burgers, hot dogs, chili, fresh-made fries, ice cream, blended coffees, shakes and more.
“We serve Ashby’s ice cream, which I think is the best you’ll find in our region,” says Talkington. “It’s made in small batches at a creamery in Michigan and has 15 percent butterfat. Our burgers are all certified Angus Beef and we take a lot of pride in our food quality all the way around.”
Rock Cut Concessions also manages the park’s Olson Beach, where swimming and hand-carried boats are allowed. Talkington rents out kayaks and stand-up paddle boards on site.
Beach toys and volleyball nets are available for the asking, at no charge. The concession stand at Olson Beach sells snacks and ice cream. There are picnic tables outside the beach area.
Rock Cut Concessions is located at 7223 W. Lane Road, inside Rock Cut State Park, (815) 885-4740. Follow Rock Cut Concessions updates on Facebook and learn more about the park at rockcutstatepark.net. ❚