Rep. Bell's Column: Area Lakes Provide Endless Entertainment

Monday, June 2, 2008 7:00 pm

Start Date:  6/2/2008  All Day  
End Date:  6/2/2008    


Beaches, rivers and lakes are the No. 1 vacation choices for Americans, and each year we take more than 1.8 billion trips to go fishing, swimming, boating or to just relax around our favorite water destinations. Fortunately, those of us in northeastern Indiana are blessed with hundreds of lakes. Noble County is home to more than 115 natural, glacier-carved lakes, which are great for fishing, boating and swimming.

Chain O' Lakes State Park - the crown jewel of Noble County - is one of my personal favorites. There are eight connecting lakes and a total of 11 lakes in the park, encompassing 2,718 acres. The lakes provide miles of shoreline for waterfront camping, fishing, picnics and just admiring the great views.

The park offers by-the-hour canoe, paddleboat and rowboat rentals on weekends and holidays. On the land, hiking trails weave through the park, and you can attend a nature program in the park's old schoolhouse nature center. The park is also a great place for bird-watching.

Sylvan Lake is also a great destination with its own range of recreational opportunities. It is the only lake in the county that allows power boating from sunup to sundown. Big Lake, Loon Lake, Skinner Lake and Waldron Lake also allow power boating, but only during restricted hours.   

If lounging lakeside is more your style, there are plenty of areas for you. Bixler Lake State Park in Kendallville and Sand Lake within Chain O' Lakes are Noble County's best beaches for swimming. 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy the local lakes is fishing. We are blessed with several species of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, northern pike, yellow perch, catfish, walleye and trout. Each lake boasts its own combination of wildlife, so a little research can point you in the right direction if you're hoping at catch a specific kind of fish. The Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau has information on wildlife located at each lake.

Our part of the state is fortunate to have so many beautiful natural attractions. I have listed a few places to visit, but with the all of the options it can be hard to choose. For more information, check out or Both sites boast Indiana's natural resources and great weekend or day trips.

You can find everything from the top 20 fishing sites to festivals and celebrations happening all summer long. I particularly like the list of public waterways provided on the Noble County Web site, which lists all of the entertainment options available at each venue.

Take advantage of what we have nearby this summer. You'll save gas, help the local economy and, best of all, have a good time.