Summer Fun on Ohio’s Lakes
Rising slowly beyond the plains, almost out of nowhere, Cambridge, Ohio emerges in the foothills of Southeast Ohio’s Appalachian region.
It’s here where you’ll find Ohio’s off-the-beaten-path lakes. What does Cambridge possibly have to offer that can’t be found somewhere else? For starters, Salt Fork State Park is Ohio’s largest state park and is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Cambridge. It has a huge inland beach (there are nearly 3,000 acres of water), 14 miles of hiking trails, a four-star golf course, a mini-golf course, 200+ campsites, and the Salt Fork Lodge, which itself has 53 cabins and 148 rooms (and yes, it’s overlooking the lake at just the right point)
The Salt Fork Marina is a state-operated facility that is open Thursday – Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The marina offers “no ethanol” gasoline, bait, clothing, marine products, and snack food. It also rents paddle boards and courtesy docks.
Sugar Tree Marina, located at the north end of the lake offers a great variety and number of rental boats and boat accessories, supplies, logo clothing, fuel, ice, pump out service and food.
It’s way too easy to forget time here — at least for a weekend. That’s the thing about the parks in Southeast Ohio — they’re rarely very crowded, giving you all the time you need to get that R&R with nature.
Another perfect spot to explore is Seneca Lake. Thirteen miles southeast of Cambridge, Seneca Lake is Ohio’s third largest inland waterway, and it has all the lake activities you might expect: fishing for bluegills and bass, boating, waterskiing, swimming, camping…all that and geocaching. The park oversees all new geocache submissions, ensuring they meet guidelines, and gives you a chance to explore the area around the lake on a scavenger hunt in the great outdoors — whether you’re an avid ‘cacher or a first-timer.
Seneca Lake is the largest of the Muskingum Watershed Conservatory lakes at 3,550 acres and horsepower limit of 399. Seneca Lake Marina is a truly unique and convenient place to enjoy one of Ohio’s most beautiful lakes. The marina offers pontoon and fishing boat rentals, bait and tackle, boating, camping supplies and gifts, seasonal and transient docking, 90 octane ethanol-free recreational gas, public launch ramp, boat repair and storage. There is also courtesy boat docking (up to 2 hours).
After enjoying a beautiful day on the lake, tie up the boat and enjoy dinner at The Dockside Restaurant. Open April to December, the restaurant serves some of the best surf and turf and barbeque. The restaurant overlooks the shores of Seneca Lake and is definitely worth a visit.