Paddling the (water) lilies at Lake Hope

Lake Hope water lilies
Lake Hope water lilies

We’ve had great weather this week, prompting me to do some paddling. I went up to Dow Lake on Monday and paddled the entire thing. On Tuesday, I set of for Lake Hope, about a 30-minute drive from here. It definitely was worth the trip.

Lily at Lake Hope
Lily at Lake Hope

I had the entire lake to myself when I put in at about 9 a.m. When I left a few hours later, there were a few other folks getting ready to launch boats and a few kids playing on the beach. Perfect.

I paddled the entire shorelines, passing several gorgeous blue herons. I also saw a few deer along the shoreline. But the highlight of the trip was when I paddled into a cove filled with blooming water lilies. Incredible. It was very shallow, but I managed to get all the way back to the beaver dams.

Paddling across that sea of lily pads was pretty freakin’ cool. Here’s a video that will give you an idea of what it’s like:

This seems to be a pretty shallow lake, and I think they have problems with algae during the heat of summer. My biggest complaint about the trip was finding a decent place to launch. The beach and marina are at the foot of a hill, so I had to drive down to the beach, unload the boat and then carry it over the the marina to launch. There’s a boat ramp on the other side of the dam. Maybe I’ll try there next time, but I wasn’t impressed with the look of it, either.

As an added bonus, the park includes Hope Furnace so I stopped there on my way out. It’s a blast furnace that was used from 1854-74 to smelt iron ore. This part of Ohio was bristling with furnaces like this back in the day. Hope Furnace remains as a strange Industrial Revolution pyramid dedicated to those days …

Hope Furnace.
Hope Furnace.