It’s August, and it’s hot outside here in Champaign County and there’s plenty of summer and sun still to go. What we need are some sandy beaches and lazy shores not too far away.
The pandemic has put a hold on most people’s travel plans to popular American beach towns such as Daytona Beach, Panama City Florida and Myrtle Beach, so what do you do? Where do we go to cool off, plant our beach towel and put our toes in the sand?
Well, you’re not completely out of luck. Ohio has plenty of beaches believe it or not, over 100 in fact. Yes, that’s not a typo, Ohio has over 100 beaches. These little known gems include manicured white sand beaches at 4- star resorts on Lake Erie, public beaches at state parks and private/public beaches at campgrounds.
Locally, we have a nice handful of beaches just a short drive from home.
The great thing about Ohio beaches is that they are clean, close by (versus going to Florida), have great parking, have no sharks, no jellyfish nor any salt and they are free. Not a bad deal at all!
Most Ohio beaches have playgrounds, picnic tables and outdoor grills. Indian Lake’s Old Field Beach even has a disc golf course. Some have concerts on the beach and bonfires and beach parties from time to time. Most even have big waves , which are created from the boats and jets skies passing by and/or the wind. On a windy day it is even possible to go surf boarding.
So hop in the car and take that short drive over to the beach for a day at Kiser Lake or maybe Buck Creek or maybe even Indian Lake if you’re in the mood for a little scenic road trip — you’re gonna love it!
Here are some area beaches that only take about 30 minutes to just over an hour’s drive to get to.
Kiser Lake State Park Beach
This spring-fed lake has reportedly the cleanest, purest lake waters in the state of Ohio. A very nice beach west of Urbana with top notch park workers who do a great job maintaining and raking the beach daily for beach goers. This is a nice swim and sand castle building beach with panoramic views. An excellent beach to launch a kayak or paddleboard from and take a quick dip to cool off.
Buck Creek State Park Beach
This is a popular local Springfield beach, with nice views, good waves and a solid rocky bottom. It has a large beach and a good beach for swimming, dog walking, beach jogging, windsurfing, kite surfing, paddle surfing, kite flying and picnicking. It is also a great beach for sandcastle building. A changing area and parking are available. Many patrons bring a beach tent, beach umbrella or pop-up canopy or cabana.
Old Field Beach at Indian Lake State Park
A top 5 ranked beach in Ohio, Old Field Beach is a beautiful beach with nice sand, sun, waves and very clean water. This is a very long beach with scenic views, hiking trails, large covered modern beach pavilions, nice changing areas and great picnic areas. A boat swim and dog swim area are also available. This beach has a playground, dog park , biking paths and disc golf course.
Fox Island Beach at Indian Lake
A must see, curved beach on a small island on Indian lake. A large parking area and picnic areas with outdoor grills welcome visitors. Accessible by bike, boat, kayak or car via causeway. Very cool!
Campground Beach at Indian Lake
A beautiful beach located at the State Park Campground with great water, huge waves and nice sand. Incredible panoramic views. Highly rated, nice beach.
Deer Creek State Park Beach
A very big beach with playgrounds for the kids. A large changing pavilion with plenty of parking is available. This beach has big waves and lots of sun. This is a very good swimming beach. A great beach for jogging, walking, dog walking, kite surfing, windsurfing, paddle surfing, kite flying and sand castle building. Check out the nearby hiking trails and mountain biking trails.
Lake Loramie State Park Beach
This is a small beautiful sandy beach on Lake Loramie with very clean water, nice waves and good sun. Also a good hiking beach and dog walking beach.
There’s plenty of summer left and maybe even an Indian Summer to follow so get out and get cooled off.
Be sure to check the status of your favorite beach on Ohio’s BeachGuard web portal. The site will post advisories related to beaches throughout the remainder of summer. As of publication of this article, no beaches in the article were under BeachGuard advisories.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.