Last week I decided to go for a bit of a drive and ended up at East Fork State Park! I had been here once before for a retreat weekend and spent most of the time there on the beach, but I knew they had some trails as well and wanted to check them out too. First stop though was the beach. I wanted to spend a little time in the sun before trekking through the woods. The beach was as nice as I remember it, but I went on a super humid Ohio summer day-so I didn't stick around in the sun for long. I love the lake there though, because you can swim, boat and fish.
After driving from the beach, I found one of the trail heads near the entrance of the park. I had not researched the trails at all so I was hoping for the best! Fortunately, they had a pretty great trail map and some details about the trail length and difficulty. And not only did they have trails to hike, but they also had a few mountain biking trails there as well:
I opted to head out on the Backpack Trail, knowing I would not be doing the whole trail because it would have been 8 miles in and out...16 miles would have been a little rough. But I headed down the trail, and despite it being pretty wet from the previous day's rain, it was a great hike. The trails were well marked and well kept and they had beautiful scenery. The trail winds down a ridge and into a little valley and then back up on the ridge on the other side. Eventually you end up walking alongside the lake, which was nice. Had it not been so humid that day, I probably would have ventured a little farther, but the bugs were relentless!
My favorite part of my time at East Fork, though, was when I ventured off trail a little bit and ended up lakeside in a little spot that was marked by a couple rocks jutting out into the water. It was a great place to just sit and relax after some hiking and take in the beauty of the lake and woods. There weren't any boats in that part of the lake, so it was nice and quiet and calm. It was a great way to end my hike, so I just turned around after that and headed back the same way I came. Overall, I had a blast spending time here, and I think it will definitely be a place I revisit.