Summer is waning, friends. I personally don’t mind all that much; colder weather, nighttime, and snowsports are my favorites, but that’s no reason to waste what warmth remains. So, as Morgan goes through the waves of homesickness that still come and go (she’s only been gone a year), we find ways to recapture some of the things she loves about summers back home. This week, it was paddleboarding on Marsh Creek Lake.
Marsh Creek State Park is in extreme southeastern Pennsylvania, just off the PA Turnpike and fifteen minutes from West Chester University. The bulk of the park’s area is dominated by Marsh Creek Lake—the main thing attracting us. The drive from Newark was simply lovely. Pennsylvania’s back roads are an absolute joy to drive on: all woods and farmland and quaint little towns deeply reminiscent of those tucked away in the quiet corners of New England—though without the asphalt issues associated with winters up there. Google Maps took us directly to the park with no confusion in about an hour (again, coming from Newark, DE).
Parking at Marsh Creek is quite ample, though when we arrived around three thirty, there were no close spots and the next lot up was rather full as well (we were, however, able to park there). If your car has trouble with gravel, do note that the lots aren’t paved, and are instead that crushed stone, though the driveway connecting the park to the real roads is paved, so there’s very little gravel you’d have to drive over.
This was my first time paddleboarding, and I was worried that it would aggravate my back. As it turns out, I was right. Fortunately, the park allows visitors to swap between kayaks and paddleboards with no problem (and no extra fee), so us switching halfway through was almost to be expected. They’re the same hourly rate (all the prices are pictured below), and the young men helping people into and out of the water were completely ready to help us switch watercraft with blinding efficiency.
I had missed kayaking. Kayaks are so maneuverable, much faster than paddleboards, and I prefer sitting whenever possible—not to mention how close a kayaker gets to be to the water’s surface. Floating out there in a self-contained little boat, it’s hard to worry about the things your life’s been throwing at you. For me, anyway, it was a much needed opportunity to contain my thoughts within the shores of Marsh Creek Lake and worry more about my kayak tipping than anything else in the world. Exploration is perhaps my favorite hobby, so we picked a point on the far shore and practically raced there. It was just fun, pure and unadalturated.
Marsh Creek has all sorts of fun, from the paddleboards and kayaks (which do not only come in single person models) to boat launches and lessons in all kinds of boating—including sailing. Motorboats are available for rental as well, and I saw a good number of people just out there fishing and enjoying the beautiful day. Also, if you find yourself peckish, the snack bar will certainly have you covered. Whatever your brand of lake fun, Marsh Creek State Park has you covered, so grab your bathing suit and make the most of what’s left of this heat.