Shawnee State Park – My own quiet reprieve

I wasn’t able to finish this in time for yesterday’s prompt but I’m going to continue on and post it anyway.

Shawnee State Park always has been a quick getaway for me, a place to mentally escape anything, or a quiet reprieve to just find peace.

Located along Route 30 just 10 miles west of Bedford, Shawnee is easily accessible. It is nearly 4,000 acres of possibilities. The focal point is generally the lake. At 451 acres, the lake offers room for water activities such as boating, fishing, canoeing, paddleboating, and swimming. There are trails around the lake for walking, running, and biking. Picnic tables and pavilions are spaced around the park as well. Campgrounds are located nearby. Shawnee has plenty of space for outdoor activities for the whole family.

Entering the park from Route 30, you follow a windy tree-lined road leading you away from civilization. You come to a stop sign and then have the choice of going right or left. Either way takes you to different areas of the park. I usually go right and follow the road to the parking lot located by a pavilion and boat rentals. It is just a short walk to the “beach” and the playground.

Serenity, peace, quiet, escape…you get all of them upon entering the park. It’s so quiet. You are far enough away from the main roads that you don’t hear traffic. It is just you and nature…and any other individuals or family who have chosen to partake in the beauty of this place.

In high school and college, the walking trails were my quiet place. Walking with friends or family, talking or not, just enjoying the sounds of nature. A sense of calmness just envelopes you as you wander the trails. Any problems or stresses drift away.

Now with my boys, the beach and the playground are our places to visit. Whether it is running their tractors through the sand or using the sliding boards on the play set, they too have found peace and enjoyment at Shawnee. I can still enjoy the serenity and scenery while they enjoy life as two active little boys. It gives me joy to watch them play and to hear my older son ask to go to the “beach” playground.

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