With so many things on my schedule these days, I really value the leisure time that I find. When it can be shared with Izzie and Thad, it's even better. Early this afternoon we grabbed a blanket and headed out to Trout Lake at Island Lake State Park. This lake is spring fed and you have to walk about 1/2 mile on a trail from the parking lot to get to it. There's no formal beach carved out. Those two things mean that it's a hidden gem! Not crowded, lots of little private sandy areas by the water, and beautiful clear water without seaweed.
Growing up in Michigan we went out to the lake most weekends in the summer. Of course, going 'out to the lake' actually often meant going to Island Lake State Park (to Kent Lake beach) - which is now a quick 10 minute drive, practically in our backyard. This is our 8th summer back in Michigan and the first time I went swimming in the lake. Why? I like to see the bottom! I don't like dark water and slimy seaweed (although it's probably not technically sea-weed since it's a lake). I love the ocean, and no lake will ever take its place in my eyes, but I just may have a new favorite place to head out to on a summer afternoon!
The other great thing about this lake is that dogs are allowed. Technically they must be on leash, but everyone pretty much lets them off leash to swim in the lake. When she came back on land we kept her on leash. We've tried taking her before and she was skittish about the water, but today she ran right in! She was jumping around and then actually just started swimming where she couldn't touch - and seemed to really enjoy it! Thad and I had so much fun with her!