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Travel Destination: Lake Erie

The Great Lakes are five large lakes on the North American continent and are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world! The five lakes are named Superior (which is the second largest lake in the world behind the Caspian Sea), Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie. The lakes were formed by glaciers around 14,000 years ago after the glaciers carved up the landscape and then melted, filling the holes with fresh water. The lakes are known for their wildlife, which can be explored by fishing, boating, kayaking, or swimming! The Great Lakes are a great travel destination for a thrilling adventure or relaxing vacation.

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Luckily for me, I live in Northeast Ohio, which is only an hour from the closest Lake Erie shore! It is home to one of the largest (and my favorite) amusement parks in the United States, Cedar Point, a self-proclaimed “roller coaster capital of the world.”

Every summer for the past ten years I have made the trip up to Cedar Point with my family or friends, where we go from ride-to-ride seeking the next adrenaline rush. In my mind, the most breathtaking ride is the Millennium Force roller coaster. It has a max height of 94 meters and a max speed of 150km! Part of the experience is the beautiful view. As you go up the first hill, to the left you can see for kilometers over the blue waters of Lake Erie, and to the right, you can see over the amusement park.

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This ride is definitely not for someone who is afraid of heights. In total, the park has 72 rides, 17 of which are roller coasters! Besides rides, the park contains numerous restaurants and food stands, live music throughout the day, a game arcade, and even a water park. Cedar point is just one thing you can do while at Lake Erie, but one could spend days seeing all the cool attractions and riding all the rides!

A complete opposite of the fast-paced life of Cedar Point is enjoying a relaxing day at the beach. For the past two summers I have had the opportunity to enjoy a week at a cottage on Lake Erie with my family friends. We sleep in, then take a five-minute walk and spend the day laying on the beach and enjoying the cold, yet surprisingly refreshing water. When you first get in, it feels like the arctic ocean and you want to scream you are so cold, but after a few minutes it feels great. But the best thing about the beaches on Lake Erie is that there are almost no people! Everybody likes to go to the beaches in the southern part of the United States (like the ones in Florida, which are pretty great I must admit), so usually the only people that go to the beaches on Lake Erie are native Ohioans! While at the beach, we play Frisbee, sunbathe, and collect seashells. It makes for a very relaxing day with some surprisingly great views.

As you are sitting on the beach, you’ll also notice boats along the coast, kayaks in the water, and fisherman sitting on the shore. You can rent a boat with a trained fisherman, rent kayaks, or rent fishing gear and go out and enjoy a day on the lake! Lake Erie has a little bit of everything for everybody, but you should check it out yourself!

Click here to start doing some exploring of your own


Vocabulary

Glacier - a large mass of ice that moves under its own weight

Carved up the landscape - the process of glaciers moving dirt and slowly creating holes and ravines

Melted - to make or become liquid

Wildlife- All organisms and species that live in an environment

Shore - the small piece of land right next to a large body of water

Amusement park -a large outdoor area with rides and entertainment

Roller coaster -a ride at an amusement park that is usually on a wooden or metal track that goes very fast with tight and steep turns. The riders are in small open carts

Self-proclaimed - described by oneself

Adrenaline rush - a surge of energy brought on by a situation

Fast-paced life - a life with constant action and activity

Cottage - a very small house

Kayak - a small narrow watercraft which is propelled by a double-sided paddle


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Kopatz is a senior at Walsh University from Ohio, United States. He is majoring in history and psychology and plans on attending graduate school and eventually becoming a history professor. At Walsh he is active in student government and is a professional writing tutor. When he has free time, he enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and traveling.