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Cowan Lake State Park
Come sail away.
Cincinnati’s weather this summer has been a whole lot like a bad boyfriend or girlfriend—it’s hot then it’s cold; it unpredictably goes off-kilter; and, seriously, it just needs to make up its damn mind.
The best solution, to either the weather or that bad relationship: Get yourself on a boat and get away.
And you can do so without too much commitment to the choice, either, by heading for the day to Cowan Lake State Park in Wilmington, Ohio. The 700-acre lake keeps things calm, with nothing above 10 horsepower allowed.
You can rent a kayak, canoe, pontoon, or 14-foot boat from the South Shore Marina. And for all things sailing, look to the Cowan Lake Sailing Association, which occasionally offers learn-to-sail classes, regularly hosts events and races for all levels, runs a youth sailing program, and in general fills the lake with billowing sails.
If you don’t fancy being on a boat, hiking, swimming, fishing, and general lakeside picnicking and lounging are all highly encouraged—and if you need to stay away, there are camping sites and cottages for that.
1750 Osborn Rd., Wilmington, Camp Office: (937) 383-3751, Marina: (937) 289-2656, Reservations: (866) 644-672; Cowan Lake Sailing Association: see clsa.us/contacts