When you’re from northeastern Ohio the closest thing you have to a beach is something man made that is only open for four month and you have to pay to go to it. Lake Erie is there but its cold for the majority of the time
you could use it as a beach. There are lakes scattered through the state, but if you want to go to a true beach you’d have to leave the state. All of this is why I was pleasantly surprised when I started school at Ohio University and learned that there was a beach in Athens.
I was very skeptical when i first heard of Strouds Run. OU is in Appalachia, there’s no way there was a beach here. I could believe that it was a state park due to how much of the area was woodland. I was unable to actually go to Strouds until my junior year since I didn’t have a car until then. So when I made my first trip to Strouds I could not hold back my excitement.
The trip was a winding drive through the Appalachian hills with no cell service (a perk in my book). People always said there is a beach but I never believed them until I arrived and thought there actually is a beach here! I put my feet in the sand, listened to the surrounding families and my fellow college students, who were also ignoring responsibilities, and realized I was truly at the beach.
I’ve made multiple trips back since my first encounter. I try my best to take advantages of all the amenities. You can call head and rent a pontoon boat if you have a group of friends who are up for a little excursion. If you’re flying solo you can rent a kayak or canoe and take it out to relax on the water and possibly cast a line out. Perhaps you’re not feeling the water on a particular day. No worries, there’s miles of trails in the woods. I’ve been able to hike to the top of the hill that overlooks the lake and then get lost on the way back down. that’s the beauty of it though, getting lost.
Strouds is somewhere to get lost at. it is an escape for college kids who are stressed out and need a break. you can’t use your cell phone there, but nobody wants to once they’re there. They embrace all 2,600+ acres of the state park. Students, or locals too, rent out a boat and get lost on the lake for a few hours. They fill a backpack with the essentials and hit the trails and get lost in the woods until the real world calls calls you and says it time to get back to reality.
So if you’re ever in the mood to get lost for a few hours and you don’t believe there really is a beach in Athens, Ohio, head to Strouds Run State Park. I’m sure you’ll be able to find your escape.