Looking for a fun way to spend some of your fleeting summer vacation days without spending a ton of cash? Check out Punderson State Park, in nearby Newbury. The 41-acre park features a 150-acre natural lake, and was our destination of choice on a recent hot and steamy day.  
Within the park’s day-use area is a 600-foot public beach. The clean, sandy beach is a great place to read, relax, or perfect your sand-castle-building skills. The cool, shallow water is perfect for kids of all ages, and thanks to the paved ramp, people of all abilities can enjoy it, too. The day we visited, a young girl in a wheelchair had the opportunity to enjoy the lake with her family.
To enjoy the lake, it’s important to note that it is a natural lake, which makes it more like swimming in a pond than in one of the Great Lakes. While the lake bottom is soft and sandy, there is a lot seaweed anchored there. A lot of seaweed. The feeling that came to mind while walking in certain areas was one of walking on the inside of a pumpkin. Although this didn’t stop us, or the others who visited that day from enjoying an afternoon of swimming and sun, we did dub the place ‘Pumpkin Guts Lake’ for future reference. If pumpkin guts aren’t to your liking, though, there is a chlorinated swimming pool available near Punderson Lodge. For a cost of $5 per person, your family can cool off in a less ‘natural’, but just as refreshing environment.
In addition to swimming, the 41-acre Punderson State Park offers visitors the opportunity for boating, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. The resort manor house, family cottages, and scenic campground also provide opportunities for a nearby family or couples getaway, any time of the year. Seasonally speaking, Punderson is situated in the heart of the Snow Belt. As such, it features a lighted sledding hill, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails, giving us all a new destination to check out when the pumpkins and their guts are distant memories, and winter finally arrives.
For more information on the activities and facilities available at Punderson State Park, visit parks.ohiodnr.gov/punderson#overview or call (440) 564-2279.