Can't get the time off to travel to the the beach this year?
The ocean is calling you, but gas prices got you thinking twice about taking the long trek across several states to play in the waves?
Fight back against the gas prices, get your kids away from the video games and hit the beaches...of Lake Erie
Pack up the car with the inner tubes, sand toys, inner tubes, chairs and lather on the sunscreen and hit the beaches for some sun, fun and no sharks! Headlands Beach State Park
with its mile-long natural sand beach, is the largest in the state and is a very popular place to go for picnickers, swimmers and sun worshipers. Changing area, concession and restrooms are available and the sand beach is ideal for beach volleyball games.
With a scenic picnic area and plenty of grills you can pack a picnic instead of making a drive through at a fast food restaurant. The kids can play on the playground available in the picnic area while the burgers are cooking.
If you are not worn out from playing in the waves and still need something to do, the adjacent state nature preserve has hiking trails. There is a break wall located at the east end of the park where fishing is available. Catches include small mouth, large mouth and rock bass; yellow perch; bluegill; walleye; coho salmon and carp.
Originally, Lake Erie was larger than you see it today. Due to an outlet in the Niagara River the lake drained to its present size forming the beaches along the northern shore. The lake was once a primary avenue of transportation for Indians and frontiersmen alike. Erie, means wildcat ("it is long-tailed") and comes from the tribal name of the Indian culture that inhabited this area until 1655. We all need a little history!
For you garden and plant lovers there are plants more common to the Atlantic coastal plain region found growing in the surrounding sand dunes. Sea rocket, beach pea, seaside spurge, beach grass and purple sand grass persist on the dunes.
If all of this is still not enough to fill your day, here are some other area attractions in the beach area; Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve,
located at the east end of the park. Bordering the south side of the park is Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve,
a National Natural Landmark. the preserve is home to varied plant and animal life. Adjacent to the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve is the 450-acre Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina
owned and operated by the City of Mentor where you will find over five miles of trails and one and a half miles of wild beach. The city offers tours by foot, boat, and bike. Electric carts are also available so the physically challenged can explore. Call 440-205-DOCK. Fairport Harbor Marine Museum
is housed in the former lightkeeper's dwelling adjacent to the 1871 lighthouse tower. Holden Arboretum
is just a little east of town and includes walking trails, visitor center, reference library and picnic area. Lawnfield, the restored home of President James A. Garfield
, is also open to the public. Tours highlight a museum, original furnishings, the 1880 campaign office and a carriage house.
Parks are open during daylight hours. The great thing about Ohio State Parks, admission is free and if you decide to camp or do something that requires a fee…grandparents, there is a senior citizen discount! Have fun, this park is great for all ages and the area has something for everyone.