One of my favorite spots in the state is the expansive Lake Macbride State Park in Solon. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this beautiful area in all four seasons and each one offers its own slice of majesty and wonder.
In summer, you can see families and groups of friends gathered on the beach area jumping in for a cool swim to douse that summer heat in an elixir of pure fun. Kayakers, canoers, and those on stand-up paddle boards dot the water as they use human power to navigate the vast stretches of the lake. There are also fishermen galore on the banks trying their luck or on fishing boats casting a line out to see what that latest lure might snag.
In autumn, the colors come alive on the banks of the river. It’s a lovely time to put foot to trail on the Beach to Dam Trail and maybe take a break in one of the wooden swings to really absorb the gold, orange and red hues, where once only green blanketed the landscape. You might just spot a few deer or see a bass or two jump out of the water.
In winter, come back to enjoy the contrast of pristine snow next to the icy water’s edge as a fresh dusting coats the pine trees. Perhaps you might bring along those snowshoes and take in a view you can only find by going a little deeper into the woods. If you’re lucky, you might spot a Downy Woodpecker braving the colder temperatures.
Return in springtime when the area comes back alive after the dormancy of winter. Enjoy the fresh signs of growth and take a bike ride on the North Shore Trail or a hike among the flora that grace the edges of Osprey Trail.
Whatever season you choose, a visit to Lake Macbride State Park is sure to fill you with a sense of exhilaration for time well spent in the outdoors, and admission is always free. A lovely day passed here might just bring you back to that famous line from Field of Dreams when you remind yourself that though it might look a lot like heaven, you’re still in the great state of Iowa.