Weekend Road Trip: Enjoy The Peace and Quiet of Pymatuning
Fishing, sailing, hunting, hiking, biking, kayaking and sitting by a campfire are the main activities here.
I understood the practice of “Forest Bathing” but I never experienced its benefits until a recent weekend in the deep woods surrounding Pymatuning Lake. Enveloped in a canopy of fall colors and a soundtrack only nature could provide, a morning walk with my wife and two close friends was as restful and refreshing as a good night’s sleep.
Pymatuning Reservoir is a man-made lake that stretches over nearly 27 miles of Crawford County and Ashtabula County in Ohio. Much of the lake shore is part of two state parks, one on each side of the border. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway with endless waterfront dining options, water or jet skiing and long stretches of sandy beaches – Pymatuning is not a viable option – and that’s part of its appeal.
Fishing, sailing, hunting, hiking, biking, kayaking and sitting by a campfire are the main activities here. The flat terrain, trails and low traffic volume on most roads are perfect for bicycling.
On a ride from the small towns of Espyville to Linesville, we stopped at the popular Pymatuning Spillway where schools of giant Pennsylvania carp are so thick, ducks are often spotted walking over the surface of the fish. More than 300,000 visitors a year stop to witness the spectacle and feed the carp chunks of bread.
A short ride farther north took us to the Linesville State Fish Hatchery operated by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Visitors are welcome daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Inside is a giant aquarium that features many of the species that occupy the lake. The hatchery also hosts an annual open house in early April that features exhibits, demonstrations and activities.
Riding into Linesville, we discovered Rebecca’s Family Restaurant at 144 W. Erie St. Open for breakfast and lunch, the cozy restaurant specializes in large portions of comfort food at surprisingly reasonable prices. We left there with full stomachs at a cost of under $40, tip included.
The rest of the weekend was devoted to exploring on foot. Too chilly to swim, we never got in the water but did enjoy a long walk along the lakeshore.
The weather and brilliant fall colors made this the perfect weekend getaway. While we stayed overnight, a visit to Pymatuning is an easy day trip, about one hour and 45 minutes from Pittsburgh. If you want to stay overnight, there are dozens of options on Airbnb and VRBO for houses, cottages and cabins.