Ok, so maybe summertime doesn’t give most of us reprieve from long hours and a constant barrage of emails, but it sure seems to make those things more tolerable. And if you’re wise enough to take some time for yourself and get outside, you can almost feel the stress melt away. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to accomplish this than a trip to Lake Erie, Ohio’s greatest natural resource.
I admit to some bias, as I’m writing this from beautiful Gibraltar Island while teaching the Lake Erie Sport Fishing course at Stone Lab. But there really is something for everyone up here on the north shore. How about a trip to Cedar Point, recognized as one of the best amusement parks in the world? If adrenaline isn’t your thing, how about visiting one of the many local wineries popping up along the Lake Erie shore?
Into history? Come to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island and check out Perry’s monument and learn how pivotal this part of Ohio was in the War of 1812. And make sure to stop by the Aquatic Visitors Center run by Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Lab. If you come on a Wednesday, make time to take the tour of Stone Lab and say hi to us. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the $10 fee supports student scholarships.
And of course there’s the fishing and boating. There’s a great resource available from our friends at Coastal Management that lets you find all the public access spots along the lake. Don’t have your own boat? Check out the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association website to find a charter captain, or call in to your destination county Visitor Bureau (like the Ottawa County Lake Erie Shores and Islands office) to see who they recommend, or get a ton of other ideas. Local bait shops are great sources of information too.
If none of these ideas suit you, don’t forget to consider the beautiful beaches, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboards, parasailing, sailing, camping, bird watching and so many other opportunities that await you here along Lake Erie’s shore. Do yourself a favor – make the quick drive north this summer. Sometimes the water is all you need to cleanse your soul.
Tory Gabriel is the Extension Program Leader & Fisheries Outreach Coordinator for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program.