Pennsylvania state park satisfies without glamour and glitz
Free, clean and accessible- that’s all state parks need to be. Allow me to explain.
This week, I was chomping at the bit to test out my new kayak. I had purchased it just before going out of town for a week and couldn’t wait to get back home and try it.
After catching up on some housework and business items, I had a window of a few hours one evening, so my wife, son and I drove to Memorial Lake State Park, roughly 15 minutes from our home. It would give me a chance to make my maiden voyage and maybe catch a couple fish, while Erin walked the extensive trail system with Foster in his stroller.
When we arrived, I was able to launch my craft from a well-kept ramp, with nearby bathroom amenities, a small boat rental area, family picnic pavilions, and even a volleyball net and swings. It was basic, not fancy, but nice.
As I paddled out to the middle of the lake, I couldn’t help but think of how great it is to have something like this within a short drive from my house. The clear blue sky reflected on the water. Ducks swam from the shallows, and a water snake slithered out ahead.
Fish jumped, birds sang, and I was relaxed. I even nabbed a few bluegills from beneath the shaded cover before meeting my family at the truck to head home in time for dinner.
State Parks belong to the citizens, and we are fortunate to have these freely accessible areas to enjoy the outdoors, along with the many recreational opportunities that go with it. They need not be overly commercialized or turned into fancy resorts.
Just keep it simple … free, clean and accessible. The beauty comes naturally.