A couple months ago I was having a conversation with one of my close friends about how our family had just visited Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park and how well I did walking walking around the park as I was recovering from knee surgery earlier this year. Since my friend is, practically, a lifelong resident here in Ohio, and I have only been here for a few years, I asked him for recommendations of his favorite state parks here in Ohio. He likes Mohican State Park, Salt Fork State Park and Headlands Beach State Park. He said that he and his family like stay overnight somewhere near the beach and hang out at the beach for the weekend.
So based on my friend's recommendation, our family decided to head up to Headlands Beach State Park and visit Lake Erie for the afternoon. I was absolutely amazed, however, that this being Labor Day weekend--the final long weekend for the summer--there weren't a lot of people there. I think the threat of possible rain leftover from Hurricane Isaac kept a lot of people at home, as well as many of the baseball and football games that were attracting people to keep to their TV sets. But we had great weather when we were there. Temperatures were in the low 80s, and it didn't rain at all while we were there for about 3 hours.
We packed an easy picnic lunch in the cooler of fruit salad, green salad, hard cheeses, deli meats, sandwich bread, brownies and bottled water. We ate a picnic table near the playground equipment, and my kids played with the some of the other park guests on the playground equipment when they finished eating their lunches. I was surprised at how many trees are at this beach as I was expecting a huge beach with no tree coverage. There are also a good number of restrooms with flush toilets at this beach park.
There are a number of chairs on the beach meant for lifeguards, but there were no lifeguards while we were there, so I had to keep a close eye on my kids when they went into the water. They enjoyed getting swallowed up by the waves, but for as fun as this activity is, it is also a bit risky. So parents need to be extra vigilent here. I knew it was time to go when my son was showing signs of fatigue in the water, and I knew for sure when he started asking if he could go play on the playground equipment after being in the lake for about 90 minutes.
Recommended Ohio State Parks mentioned:
- Headlands Beach State Park--http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/headlnds/tabid/742/Default.aspx
- Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park--http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/nelsonk/tabid/775/Default.aspx
- Mohican State Park--http://www.mohicanstatepark.org/
- Salt Fork State Park--http://www.saltforkstateparklodge.com/