Hey folks! Before I jump in to today's post, you may have noticed I decided to just start a series of sorts with all of my state park visit posts. I can't promise I'll have a “Travelin' Tuesdays” post every week, but from here on out whenever I have a state park, camping, road trip post, etc., that's when you can expect them!
I'm really excited about today's post. Not that I haven't enjoyed all of the other state parks we've visited so far, but, in a nutshell, I have nothing but good things to say about Shakamak State Park! The funny thing is, I had never even heard of it until I was looking up a list of all the state parks in Indiana. Why is that funny? Because, other than McCormick's Creek, which is only about 15 minutes away, it is the closest to us at 38 minutes! Given, we've only lived down here not quite 2 years, but still. You would think we would know about another park that close!
I read online that Shakamak is known for its fishing with THREE man-made lakes. So, I've been putting off going there for a month or two because I wasn't sure they would have much else to keep us entertained and, if I remember right, the nature center is open seasonally, so figured it probably wasn't open yet. As it turned out, the nature center WASN'T open, but...They were replacing the roof. So who knows whether that was the only reason.
As for the fishing, well, let's just say we were having such good luck the first evening that we decided to go back again the next day! But, before I start getting into too much detail about our excursions, let's let the pictures do some of the talking. ;)
Since the nature center was closed, we started off by checking this nice fishing pier out. We didn't actually end up fishing from it since it had no shade at all...And the guys we talked to out there said they hadn't had much luck.
After that we drove to a picnic area/shelter on the next lake (Lenape) and ate lunch, then went for a walk down part of trail 3. There were lots of bridges and a fair amount of stairs!
When we got back from our walk, we tried some fishing at the dock there without much luck. We drove to the campground after that and tried the dock out there with no luck either. (Unless you count snake sighting. Blegh!) BUT, it was mid-afternoon, to be fair.
We then took the long way around the big Kickapoo lake. I wish I had gotten it on video. It was a pretty drive with the way the trees were hanging over the road. We didn't do any fishing on that lake, but ended up back on Lake Shakamak on the boat rental dock and that's where the real magic happened. ;)
We ended up catching a lot of crappie. (I actually caught the most the second day!) John somehow managed to catch a single bass. No one else caught any, which I thought was kind of strange. But, even Myka caught a fish! We ended up staying way later than we probably should have, but it was well worth it.
Mini monster doesn't look very amused here, but she actually did really well! Surprisingly well! I still need to remember to bring more toys next time.
The next day started off with some time at the playground for the kiddies. Then we went for a short stroll down parts of paths 1 and 2. It was time for lunch after that at a different shelter than the day before because why not? Plus, it was close to a restroom. Their actual restrooms (not those silly outhouse things) were very clean! I was impressed. I love me a good, clean restroom that has actual toilets and not holes in the ground!
Since we had such good luck the day before, we decided to go back to the same dock on Lake Shakamak with the boat rentals. We didn't catch nearly as many, but altogether we had a good amount for a nice fish fry. :) Oh. And I don't really have any experience with fish cleaning stations, but the ones at Shakamak seemed nice. There were kind of like a little cabin with screen windows, cutting board surfaces, garbage disposal, one of those big sprayers like you find in kitchens at restaurants, big drainage trench, etc. I guess I should have gotten some pictures, huh?
We will definitely be going back. There is plenty to do and keep everyone busy and all of the facilities seemed well-kept. We're probably going to have to rent one of those paddle boats next time because Myka was obsessed with them. (I used to be too as a kid. It's about the only kind of boat I like.) Unfortunately, a storm was rolling in the second day, so I didn't want to chance it!
Sorry for the lengthy post! Join me again next week for our adventure to Clifty Falls State Park!