Saturday, July 3, 2010

What's not to like--Kayaking Mosquito Lake, Ohio

Wednesday Ken and I ventured east on the Ohio Turnpike to Warren, Ohio. North of Warren, in Cortland, Ohio, is the location of Mosquito Lake. Listed as one of the fourth largest lakes in Ohio, we were anxious to give it a try. Actually, we were anxious to give any new lake a try as our two adventures to date have been south of Cleveland in Median County at Chippewa Lake.

We followed the signs to the marina and drove slowly along the narrow road searching for an area along the lake to put in. This was not the place. This area was clearly for motor driven boats....not kayaks!

Ken decided to go back to the main road and drive into the small community of Cortland. On the map he had seen a beach located at the end of a road the emanated from the town area. We found the road and drove back to the lake....this little beach was almost directly across from the marina.

When we pulled in, the beach area was deserted. We took notice of a posted sign saying that 72 folks had drowned in Mosquito Lake--Don't be #73--they didn't think they needed to wear a PFD (personal floatation device aka life jacket).....we have PFD's.

As we were taking the kayak's off Ken's car an official truck pulled in and parked. A man jumped out of the cab and began to walk over to us. I held my breath hoping he was not a park ranger coming to tell us we were not allowed to kayak. Breath was a city engineer who was interested in purchasing a kayak and wanted some info from us. Ken played him tips....even though we have only been out on the water two other times....well, Ken has been out three :-)

Although the day was sunny and clear, the wind was whipping the lake into a frenzy....again we would have to contend with waves and white a VERY LARGE lake. The city engineer mentioned that he had never seen anyone kayak in Mosquito Lake, then turning and giving a long look out on the lake he said, "Are you really going to go out there?" "That lake looks pretty rough today."

Well, we didn't drive all the way from Cleveland to pack up and go home.....of course we are going out on that lake!

Frankly, paddling out was not as difficult as last week at Chippewa. We stayed fairly close to the shore... passing an old cemetery, several picnic tables set up along the lake and submerged, fallen trees. Around the first bend, we came upon an inlet. Ken lead the way and as we entered, the water calmed immediately. We did not find any animals or birds as we moved through calmer water; however there were sections that were covered with green algae. It was a pleasant respite from the somewhat turbulent lake.

Back to it. We continued to stay near the curve of the shore, paddling into the waves. This just has to be good for building stronger abs! After about an hour of working our way across this area of the lake, it was time to head back to the car.

Now with the wind behind us we were surfboarding across the water, although the water was not taking us where we wanted to go. I noticed fish actually jumping out of the water further out in the lake as we passed.

The memorable event of this kayak adventure was the great blue heron. Reflecting on our last kayaking adventure at Chippewa, it was also a heron.....strange. As Ken and I were heading back a great blue came toward us, flying lower as he approached. As he passed over, he couldn't have been more than ten feet over our heads. It reminded me of a small prehistoric pterodactyl flying above--wings extended and head hanging down.

For my genealogy friends....there was an old cemetery beside the beach. The photographic shot of the old tombstones was through the trees from the lake....ah, my kingdom for a waterproof Since we were parked beside the cemetery, I did wander over t take a few snaps. Name: Hillside Cemetery.

Next outing will hopefully be Cheat Lake, outside Morgantown, West Virginia. We will be there for four days beginning July 4th and I WILL have a waterproof camera around my neck.

So....what's not to like!

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. You're going to Morgantown! I'm so jealous! I've been doing a lot of research on that area for some work on a family line and the history is just fascinating. The University there is supposed to have a really great collection of materials too. One day I'll get out there to check it out myself. Have fun on your trip, can't wait to see the pics!

  2. Linda - Looks like you are having a great time with your girly pink kayak! I'm afraid I would be going in circles - I was never very good with paddles - LOL! Beautiful photo's too!

  3. I'm not a water or boating person, but I enjoyed reading your post. No, you don't want to be #73. Also, I'm glad you are able to get away. Enjoy the weekend and the water.